Disclaimer: This post contains graphic details of a mass shooting.
Authorities confirm 10 people are dead as a result of a racially motivated mass shooting yesterday at a Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York.
The mass shooting suspect, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, was apprehended and charged with first-degree murder at Buffalo City Court last night after opening fire on the grocery store premises with the intent to kill Black people, all while live streaming the shooting on Twitch. He is being detained without bail.
His public defender entered a plea of “not guilty” on his behalf Saturday night. The district attorney’s office plans to indict the suspect and include additional charges. He has reportedly been placed on suicide watch.
The Tops Friendly Markets at the 1200 block of Jefferson Avenue came under attack after a heavily armed Gendron arrived in full tactical gear at around 2:30 p.m. EST, reports CNN.
In the Twitch livestream, the shooter pulls up to the front of the store and can be heard saying, “Just got to go for it,” as he records from a helmet. Before entering the store, he shot four people out in the parking lot.
Once inside, Gendron was confronted and shot at by the armed security guard, but was unharmed because of his bulletproof vest. He proceeded to shoot and kill the guard, and then “[worked] his way through the store,” said Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia. Thirteen people were shot at, including four Tops employees; 10 died and three were injured. Of all the victims, 11 were Black and two white.
Before being taken into custody, Gendron planned to take his own life, placing his weapon to his neck but officials convinced him to lower the rifle, which he had etched with the N-word.
Police say the white supremacist drove over 200 miles for three and a half hours from Conklin to Buffalo, specifically targeting the local grocer because of a high Black population in that area.
“This was pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said in a press conference on Saturday. “It was straight up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community… trying to inflict that evil upon us.”
The FBI stated that the mass shooting is being investigated as a hate crime and possibly a terrorist attack. Authorities are currently examining an alleged 180-page manifesto Gendron posted online detailing the horrific act, as well as extremist propaganda that claimed the “crisis” of low white birth rate “will ultimately result in the complete racial and cultural replacement of the European people.” He wrote that he will plead guilty in case he survived the slaughter.
News of the massacre sent shockwaves across the nation, many expressing anti-gun sentiment alongisde calls for authorities to better respond to anti-Black terrorism unfolding in real time in sites like 4chan and Reddit.
I'm sick because I shop at that supermarket. It's located in a lower-income Black neighborhood in Buffalo. This terrorist sought out Black people to kill. Literally came to the hood to kill us. And live-streamed it all.
— J Coley (They/Them) (@JColey716) May 14, 2022
The Buffalo shooter says in his manifesto he learned from memes on 4chan that white people were dying off quicker than Blacks, and that the average Black person takes $700,000 in money from government handouts. He believed whites are victims of genocide and “Jews” are behind it
— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) May 14, 2022
According to a White House representative, the president has been briefed and will continue to receive updates.
“It is my sincere hope that this individual, this white supremacist who just perpetrated a hate crime on an innocent community, will spend the rest of his days behind bars. And heaven help him in the next world as well,” said New York Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The suspect’s next felony court appearance is scheduled for Thursday, May 19 at 9:30 a.m. EST.
— Eileen Buckley (@eileenwkbw) May 14, 2022