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Buffalo shooting suspect pleads not guilty after 10 killed, 3 wounded; Officials condemn "absolute racist hate crime"

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President Biden plans to visit Buffalo following mass shooting
President Biden plans to visit Buffalo following mass shooting 04:05

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The deadly shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo is now being investigated as a racially motivated hate crime. 

In all, 13 people were shot. Of them, 11 were Black. Authorities said the suspected gunman had plans to continue his rampage had he not been stopped, CBS2's Kevin Rincon reported Monday.

On Saturday, 10 lives were lost at the Tops supermarket. Many were just there trying to do their weekend grocery shopping.

Rincon spoke with one man who lost his brother. He said he was there buying a birthday cake for his 3-year-old son.

"My brother came to celebrate his son's birthday. He came here to buy him cake. Now, I have no brother. He has no father. Is that fair? So the feelings? I don't know what they are," Dyonne Elliott said.

READ MORENew York Gov. Kathy Hochul says deadly Buffalo shooting was "white supremacy terrorism"

Elliott lives two hours away. He said he got a call Saturday night that his brother was among the victims.

"My brother wasn't perfect, he wasn't great, but he changed his life. He was a good man. He was a good father to him. He was not a bad guy, and he was all I had left," Elliott said.

Elliott's family isn't the only one grieving. Ruth Whitfield, 86, died at the supermarket. She was the mother of Buffalo's retired fire commissioner, Garnell Whitfield, who was part of the emergency response.

As the chaos was unfolding, Jerome Bridges was inside working.

"I was in aisle 14 putting up tags for our next week's sale. That's when I heard the shots being fired inside the store," Bridges said. "I grabbed my produce manager, my night ops manager, and like four or five customers, told them to get in the conference room, and I barricaded the door."

READ MOREBuffalo community coming to grips with city's worst mass shooting

The suspect was arrested moments after the shooting. Payton Gendron, 18, was charged with first-degree murder. He plead not guilty, and will be back in court on Thursday. For now, officials say he's on suicide watch. The FBI is investigating the mass shooting as a hate crime.

"The evidence that we have uncovered so far makes no mistake this is an absolute racist hate crime. It will be prosecuted as a hate crime. This is someone who has hate in their heart, soul, and mind, and there is no mistake that this is the direction that this is going in," Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said.

Mayor Byron Brown said the suspect's intentions were clear.

"Someone drove from hundreds of miles away. Someone not from this community that did not know this community that came to take as many Black lives as possible," Brown said.

On Sunday, Rincon also learned the suspect was taken into custody last year for threatening to shoot up his high school. He was taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Despite all that, police say he was still able to purchase the weapons used in Saturday's attack legally.


Shooting sends shockwaves through communities of color

Buffalo shooting shockwaves felt in New York City 01:48

As CBS2's Jessi Mitchell reports, the shockwaves of the shooting are being felt in New York City, as well.

Mayor Eric Adams will hold a prayer vigil Monday night at Bethel Gospel Assembly in Harlem. It will bring together city leaders and faith leaders to pray and call for peace, as communities of color lean on each other in grief. 

The Saturday shooting sparked social commentary in Harlem, where the community feels the pain as if the neighbors were their own. 

Michael Zarate spoke with Mitchell about how he feels the internet has lowered the value of a life for young people, blurring the line between video games and real violence. 

"Social media has to do something about this live streaming. There's a whole lot of stuff that goes on with live streaming that they should be able to just knock it right off. I don't understand that part of it," he said. 

He wondered how the 18-year-old suspect was able to arm himself, leading to a deeper discussion about this generation's need for a positive adult influence. 

"To me, personally, it's about parents and families. I see kids out here 2, 3 in the morning, 14 years old. What is that? Where are the parents?" he said. 

The shooting has also renewed the gun law debate, and National Urban League President Marc Morial wants the Biden administration to take racially motivated crimes a step further. 

"We have encouraged the president to step up and call an emergency hate crimes and extremism summit at the White House. Bring all of the parties together," Morial said. 

Tonight's vigil begins at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the service will also stream online. 

By Jessi Mitchell

Gov. Hochul looking into what happened with Red Flag Law

Buffalo shooting raises questions about Red Flag Law 00:40

We're learning more about the suspected gunman's history. 

Over the weekend, we found out the 18-year-old was taken into custody last year for threatening to shoot up his high school. He underwent a mental health evaluation and was released. 

"I want to find out what happened to the application of our Red Flag Law, which I championed around the state, then when there's early warning signs that someone could do harm to themself or others, there has to be an examination as to whether or not there are guns in the house that this person has access to," Gov. Kathy Hochul said Monday. "We have a lot more questions. I assure you, I'm going to get to the bottom of this."

Police say the suspect was able to purchase the weapon legally.

By CBS New York Team

Buffalo and beyond in mourning

Police departments across the country, including the NYPD, are stepping up patrols near houses of worship in communities of color. 

Buffalo mass shooting hits home for Harlem 02:51

Although the tragedy happened more than 300 miles away, many folks in Black and brown communities will tell you they are hurting and devastated by what took place. 

Mayor Eric Adams plans to join a diverse array of faith and community leaders at a vigil to mourn the loss. It's expected to start at Bethel Gospel Assembly Destiny Worship Pavilion at 8 p.m. Monday. 

By Elijah Westbrook

Security guard killed remembered fondly by shoppers

We're learning more about the hero security guard, who risked his life to protect his community on Saturday in Buffalo.

Aaron Salter, a retired city police officer, was working security at the supermarket when he fired multiple shots at the suspect.

But authorities say a bullet hit the gunman's armored vest, and the suspect fired back, killing Salter.

Hero security guard remembered as hero during Buffalo shooting 00:42

Buffalo police say there could have been more victims, if not for Salter's actions.

Salter is being remembered as a beloved community member who knew the shoppers by name.

"I was just talking to him just yesterday morning when I was in Tops," shopper Yvette Mack said. "He was a nice guy. He cared about the community, cared after the store. He did a good job ... very nice and respectable."

The people Salter tried to protect include a grandfather who was picking up a birthday cake for his grandson.

Sadly, he did not make it out of the store.

By CBS New York Team

Hochul directs flags to half-staff

Gov. Kathy Hochul has directed flags on state buildings to be flown at half-staff on Monday to honor the victims of the Buffalo mass shooting. Hochul said flags should remain lowered until all victims are laid to rest.

"The violence we witnessed at the hands of this white supremacist is sickening, unacceptable and it must stop here," Hochul said. "An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us, and we must confront white supremacy head on. My heart is with our neighbors in Buffalo, the victims and their families — their legacy will live on."

By CBS New York Team

FBI assessing crime scene

By Kevin Rincon

Community coming to grips

Buffalo community trying to come to grips with city's worst mass shooting 01:59

The Buffalo community is coming together to begin the healing process one day after a gunman shot and killed 10 people and wounded three at a grocery store.  

Dozens attended a vigil turned rally as people struggle with a wide range of emotions, from sadness and anger to downright frustration.

"I was in aisle 14 putting up tags for our next week's sale, and that's when I heard the shots being fired inside the store," one man told CBS2's Kevin Rincon. "I grabbed my produce manager, my night ops manager, like four or five customers and told them to get in the conference room and I barricaded the door."

Click here to read the full story.

By Kevin Rincon

Watch: Buffalo officials give update on mass shooting

Officials in Buffalo held a news conference on Sunday afternoon to give an update on the investigation into the mass shooting.

Officials give update on Buffalo mass shooting 38:35
By CBS New York Team

Statement by Vice President Harris

Today our hearts are broken and we grieve for the victims of the horrific act of gun violence in Buffalo and for their families and friends. The Second Gentleman and I are praying for all those who knew and lost love ones.

Law enforcement is proceeding with its investigation, but what is clear is that we are seeing an epidemic of hate across our country that has been evidenced by acts of violence and intolerance.  We must call it out and condemn it. Racially-motivated hate crimes or acts of violent extremism are harms against all of us, and we must do everything we can to ensure that our communities are safe from such acts.

By CBS New York Team

Hochul: "Buffalo shooting was white supremacy terrorism"

New York governor says Buffalo shooting was "white supremacy terrorism" 03:57
By CBS New York Team

Buffalo mayor: Shooter wanted "to take as many Black lives as possible"

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said Sunday that the suspected gunman who opened fire at a supermarket in the city, killing 10 and wounding three, "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 in an interview with "Face the Nation." "But we are a strong community and we will keep moving forward."

Click here to read the full story.

By CBS New York Team

Makeshift memorials outside grocery store

Members of the community have started leaving flowers on the street outside the supermarket to pay respect to those who died.

By Kevin Rincon

Felony hearing for suspect Payton Gendron scheduled for Thursday

Buffalo shooting suspect pleads not guilty to murder charge 03:14

Officials said ten people were killed and three more were injured Saturday afternoon in a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo.

The suspect, identified as 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron, of Conklin, was taken into custody, arraigned and pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree murder.

"It carries with it a sentence of life without parole," Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said. "We are now investigating terrorism charges, other murder charges, along with working with our partners in the federal government so that they can perhaps file charges as well."

Gendron was remanded without bail. A felony hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning.

Click here to read the full story.

By CBS New York Team

Statement by President Biden

Tonight, we grieve for the families of ten people whose lives were senselessly taken and everyone who is suffering the physical and emotional wounds of this horrific shooting. We are grateful for the bravery of members of law enforcement and other first responders who took immediate action to try to protect and save lives. The First Lady and I are praying for the victims and their families, and hearts all across this country are with the people of Buffalo.

We still need to learn more about the motivation for today's shooting as law enforcement does its work, but we don't need anything else to state a clear moral truth: A racially motivated hate crime is abhorrent to the very fabric of this nation. Any act of domestic terrorism, including an act perpetrated in the name of a repugnant white nationalist ideology, is antithetical to everything we stand for in America. Hate must have no safe harbor. We must do everything in our power to end hate-fueled domestic terrorism.

By CBS New York Team

Statement from Tops Family Markets

The Tops family is heartbroken over the senseless violence that impacted our associates and customers at our store on Jefferson Avenue.

We are working quickly to make sure that all of our associates have access to counseling and support that they may need.

Tops has been committed to this community and to the city of Buffalo for decades and this tragedy will not change that commitment.  We are working to find alternatives for our customers in this community while the store is closed and will provide updates in the near future.

By CBS New York Team

Hochul calls on social media companies to monitor content more closely

Buffalo shooting suspect live-streamed attack, officials say 02:14

Gov. Kathy Hochul is calling on social media companies to do more when it comes to monitoring their content in the wake of a deadly mass shooting in Buffalo that was live-streamed by the alleged gunman.

Officials said from the moment the suspect, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, pulled into the Tops Market parking lot, he was live-streaming what he was doing.

"He exited his vehicle. He was very heavily armed. He had tactical gear. He had a tactical helmet on. He had a camera that he was live-streaming," Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said.

Click here to read the full story.

By CBS New York Team

5 things we know

  1. The shooting took place around 2:30 p.m. Saturday at a Tops Friendly Markets supermarket on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo.
  2. A total of 13 people were shot. Ten victims died at the scene.
  3. The suspect, a white male, was taken into custody at the scene. He was identified as 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron, of Conklin, New York.
  4. Gendron was allegedly heavily armed and wearing body armor and tactical gear, including a helmet with a camera that he used to live-stream the shooting.  
  5. The FBI is investigating the shooting as a hate crime and radically motivated violent extremism.

Click here to read the full story.

By CBS New York Team
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