What We Know About the Buffalo Mass Shooting

Police say an 18-year-old white man killed 10 people, most of them Black, at a supermarket
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2022 7:31 AM CDT
What We Know About the Buffalo Mass Shooting
A person waits outside the scene as police investigate the shooting.   (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

(Newser) – The details are filling in quickly after Saturday's mass shooting in Buffalo that claimed 10 lives at a supermarket. And one of those details already has become clear: “It was straight up, a racially motivated hate crime," says Erie County Sheriff John Garcia. The white gunman shot 13 people in all, and 11 of the victims were Black. In a White House statement, President Biden labeled it "hate-fueled domestic terrorism." Coverage:

  • Suspect: Police have identified the suspect as 18-year-old Payton Gendron, reports the Buffalo News. Gendron was taken into custody at the scene and later pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder. He lives in Conklin, a rural town in Broome County, New York, more than a three-hour drive from Buffalo.

  • Victims: They had not been officially identified as of Sunday morning. Police say the gunman arrived at the Tops Friendly Market about 2:30pm, shot four people in the parking lot, then entered the store and shot another nine people, reports CNN. A retired Buffalo police officer acting as a security guard was killed exchanging gunfire with the shooter inside the supermarket, say authorities. The gunman, wearing protective armor, was not injured. Four store employees were among those shot. (Read more about the security guard, who is being hailed as a hero.)
  • Location: The shooter picked Buffalo for the attack because it has the largest percentage of Black people near his home, say authorities. He appeared to have modeled the assault on other racially motivated shootings, including the massacre of 51 Muslims in New Zealand in 2019, which was also live-streamed. "He looked like he was in the Army," one Tops employee tells the News. She estimates hearing 70 shots.
  • Live-streamed: Authorities say Gendron posted a racial "manifesto" online before the attack and live-streamed at least some of the assault on Twitch, reports the New York Times. The platform says it stopped the transmission "less than two minutes after the violence started," per the AP. The shooter also had a racial epithet (the n-word) on his gun, and his online post reportedly espoused the "great replacement theory," reports the Times. The shooter's gun allegedly had "14" written on it, a reference to a statement popular among white supremacists that talks about protecting "a future for white people," per the Buffalo News.
(Read more mass shootings stories.)

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