A heavily armed, 18-year-old white gunman shot and killed 10 people Saturday at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store in a “racially motivated” attack he broadcast live on camera, officials said.
The gunman, who wore a helmet and tactical gear, was arrested after the shooting, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told a news conference.
Gramaglia recorded 10 dead and three wounded. Police said most of the victims were black.
The gunman first shot four people in the Tops supermarket parking lot, three of them fatally, then entered and continued shooting, Gramaglia said.
Among the dead inside the store was a retired police officer who worked as an armed security guard.
The guard “faced the suspect, fired several shots,” but the gunman — who was protected by a bulletproof vest — shot him, Gramaglia said.
When the police arrived, the gunman put the gun to his neck, but was convinced and eventually surrendered, he added.
Stephen Belongia, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo field office, told the news conference that the shooting was being investigated as a hate crime.
“We are investigating this incident as a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism,” Belongia said.
Eerie County Sheriff John Garcia described the attack as “pure evil”.
“It was a racially motivated hate crime by someone outside our community,” he said.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said US President Joe Biden had been briefed on the “horrific shooting”.
Biden “will continue to receive updates overnight and tomorrow as more information develops. The President and First Lady are praying for those lost and for their loved ones,” added Jean-Pierre.
Police suspect that the graphic video of this shooting that circulated online shortly afterwards was filmed by the shooter himself, but have not confirmed its authenticity or whether it was broadcast live.
With NDTV inputs