Buffalo, New York — Shoppers out on a weekend afternoon and a retired police officer working as a security guard were among the 10by a white teenager who authorities say was motivated by racial hatred.
Police said Payton Gendron shot, in total, 11 Black people and two White people Saturday in a rampage at the Tops Friendly Market that the 18-year-old broadcast live before surrendering to authorities.
Among the dead was security guard— a retired Buffalo police officer — who fired multiple shots at Gendron, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Saturday. A bullet hit the gunman's armor, but had no effect. Gendron then killed Salter, before hunting more victims.
Also killed was Ruth Whitfield, 86, the mother of retired Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield who told the Buffalo News that his "mother was a mother to the motherless."
"She was a blessing to us all," he added.
Katherine Massey, who had gone to the store to pick up some groceries, also was killed, according to the newspaper.
Gendron lived in Conklin, New York, about 200 miles the Buffalo grocery store, which is located in a predominantly Black neighborhood. Screenshots purporting to be from the Twitch broadcast appear to show a racial epithet scrawled on the rifle used in the attack, as well as the number 14, a likely reference to a white supremacist slogan.
Erie County Sheriff John Garcia expressly called the shooting a hate crime.
"This was pure evil," Garcia said.
Twitch said in a statement that it ended Gendron's transmission "less than two minutes after the violence started."
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brownthat the suspect "came here to take as many Black lives as possible."
"We are certainly saddened that someone drove from hundreds of miles away, someone not from this community, that did not know this community, that came here to take as many Black lives as possible, who did this in a willful, premeditated fashion, planning this," Brown said Sunday morning. "But we are a strong community and we will keep moving forward."
The mass shooting further unsettled a nation wracked with racial tensions, gun violence and a spate of hate crimes. A day before, Dallas police had said they were investigating shootings in the city's Koreatown as hate crimes. The Buffalo attack came just a month after a shooting on awounded 10 and just over a year after 10 were killed in a shooting at a Colorado supermarket.
Gendron, confronted by police in the store's vestibule, put a rifle to his neck but was convinced to drop it. He was arraigned later Saturday on a murder charge, appearing before a judge in a paper gown. He pleaded not guilty.
Buffalo police declined to comment on a hate-filled manifesto purportedly written and posted by the shooter that seemingly explicates his racist, anti-immigrant and antisemitic beliefs, including a desire to drive all those not of European descent from the U.S. The document indicated he drew inspiration from the shooter who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019.
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