Mass shooting at Buffalo supermarket was a racist hate crime, police say

(CNN)A mass shooting at a supermarket in a Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday was a racist hate crime and will be prosecuted as such, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Sunday.

“The evidence that we have uncovered so far makes no mistake that this is an absolute racist hate crime. It will be prosecuted as a hate crime,” he said. “This is someone who has hate in their heart, soul and mind.”
The statement came a day after a gunman opened fire at the Tops Friendly Markets store, killing 10 people and wounding three. Eleven of the people who were shot were Black, officials said.

The suspect was identified as a rifle-toting 18-year-old from Conklin, New York, who allegedly wrote a White supremacist manifesto online, traveled about 200 miles to the store and livestreamed the attack, authorities said.

“We continue to investigate this case as a hate crime, a federal hate crime and as a crime perpetrated by a racially motivated, violent extremist,” said Stephen Belongia, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo field office.

The victims included a former Buffalo police lieutenant working as a security guard and the 86-year-old mother of Buffalo’s retired fire commissioner, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said. Two people remain hospitalized in stable condition, a spokesman for Erie County Medical Center said Saturday night.

The suspect, Payton S. Gendron, surrendered to police and was taken into custody. He was charged with first-degree murder, prosecutors said, and pleaded not guilty in court Saturday night, Buffalo City Court Chief Judge Craig Hannah told CNN.
Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said Gendron is currently under suicide watch.

The attack bears similarities to a number of mass shootings in recent years that were motivated by hate and intended to be seen online, including the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019.

The Buffalo attack was the deadliest US mass shooting of the year. There have been at least 198 mass shootings so far in 2022, per the Gun Violence Archive, which like CNN defines a mass shooting as four or more people shot, not including the shooter.
Suspect targeted predominantly Black area

Shooting suspect charged with murder in court appearance 02:17
Investigators are reviewing a 180-page purported manifesto that was posted online in connection with the shooting, two federal law enforcement sources told CNN. The author of the document, who claims to be Payton Gendron, confesses to the attack and describes himself as a fascist, a White supremacist and an anti-Semite.

The manifesto’s author says he bought ammo for some time but didn’t get serious about planning the attack until January.
The author writes about his perceptions of the dwindling size of the White population and claims that White people are being replaced by non-Whites in a “White genocide.” This “replacement theory,” once a fringe idea, has recently become a talking point for Fox News’ host Tucker Carlson as well as other prominent conservatives.

In the manifesto, the author says that the supermarket in Buffalo is in a zip code that “has the highest black percentage that is close enough to where I live.”

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