An 18-year-old suspect is in custody following a mass shooting Saturday at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, where a gunman shot at least 13 people, killing 10 in what police called a “racially motivated hate crime.” “. ”
The suspect wore “tactical equipment” and live-streamed the shooting, officials said. He reportedly posted a manifesto online, according to the Associated Press, citing investigators who warned that the investigation is at a preliminary stage.
The suspect arrived at the supermarket after 2:30 pm ET and shot four people in the parking lot, killing three, before entering the store and shooting multiple times.
Erie County Sheriff John Garcia called the shooting “pure evil” and a “racially motivated hate crime by someone outside our community.”
“This is the worst nightmare any community can face,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said during a Saturday night news conference. “We are suffering and we are boiling.”
Among the victims, 11 of the 13 victims of the shooting are black, officials said Saturday.
In addition to the 10 people who were killed, three suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The alleged shooter was not from Buffalo, but “traveled hours” from another county in the state to “perpetrate this crime against the people of Buffalo,” according to the mayor.
One of the victims was a retired Buffalo police officer who worked as a security guard at the store, who shot the suspect but was unable to stop him because the alleged shooter was wearing a bulletproof vest.
Later, two police officers persuaded the suspect to drop his weapons and surrender.
A Tops Markets employee who identified himself as Will G said The buffalo news that he hid with a group of people in a supermarket refrigerator as gunshots rang out in the store.
“I just heard gunshots. Shots and shots and shots,” he told the broadcaster. “It felt like things were falling apart. … I hid. I just hid. I wasn’t going to leave that room.”
The market at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street in Buffalo – New York’s second largest city – is in a predominantly residential, predominantly black neighborhood about three miles north of downtown.
A statement from Tops Market said the company is “shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”
US Attorney Merrick Garland was briefed on the shooting, according to a Justice Department spokesperson.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said she is “closely monitoring” the incident and has advised residents to avoid the area.
A statement from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office offers “condolences to the family and friends” of the victims. New York Attorney General Letitia James said “all of New York City stands with Buffalo in the wake of this tragic mass shooting.”
Representative Brian Higgins, who represents Buffalo in Congress, said he was “appalled” by the reports and offered federal support to local officials if needed.
Local police as well as New York State Police and the FBI are investigating the shooting.
The alleged shooter could face life in prison on murder charges, officials said.