At least 10 dead in mass shooting at Buffalo supermarket

At least 10 dead in mass shooting at Buffalo supermarket

BUFFALO, NY (AP) — A gunman with a rifle and body armor opened fire at a convenience store in Buffalo, New York, killing at least 10 people before being taken into custody Saturday afternoon, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.

Details of the number of additional people shot at Tops Friendly Market and their conditions were not immediately available. The two officers were not allowed to comment publicly on the matter and did so on condition of anonymity.

Investigators believe the man may have live-streamed the shooting and checked if he posted a manifesto online, the official said. The officer warned that the investigation was in its early stages and that authorities had not yet identified a clear motive but were investigating whether the shooting was racially motivated.

The supermarket is located in a predominantly black neighborhood about 5 kilometers north of downtown Buffalo. The surrounding area is mostly residential with a Family Dollar store and a fire station near the store.

Buffalo police confirmed in a tweet that the shooter was in custody but did not identify the suspect. Police officials and a spokesman for the supermarket chain did not immediately respond to messages from AP asking for comment.

Witnesses reported the gunman was wearing military-style clothing in addition to body armor, one of the officers said

Braedyn Kephart and Shane Hill, both 20, pulled into the parking lot just as the gunman emerged. They described him as a white male in his late teens or early 20s with full camouflage, a black helmet and what appeared to be a gun.

“He stood there with the gun to his chin. We were like, what the hell is going on? Why does that boy have a gun in his face?” said Kephart. He fell to his knees. “He ripped off his helmet, dropped his gun and was attacked by police.”

Police cordoned off the block lined with spectators, and yellow police tape surrounded the entire parking lot. Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz were at the scene late Saturday afternoon, gathering in a parking lot across from the Tops store, expecting to address the media.

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More than two hours after the shooting, Erica Pugh-Mathews waited behind police tape outside the store.

“We would like to know the status of my aunt, my mother’s sister. She was there with her fiancé, they broke up and went into different aisles,” she said. “A bullet just missed him. He was able to hide in a freezer but he couldn’t reach my aunt and doesn’t know where she is. We’d just like a message if she’s okay.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted that she was “closely monitoring the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo,” her hometown. She said state officials have offered assistance to local authorities. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office said on social media that it has ordered all available employees to assist the Buffalo Police Department.

Attorney General Merrick Garland was briefed on the shooting, Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said.

The shooting came just over a year after a March 2021 attack on a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado that killed 10 people. Investigators have not released any information as to why they believe the man charged in the attack targeted the supermarket.

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Associated Press reporters John Wawrow in Buffalo and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report. Balsamo reported from Washington and Collins from Hartford, Connecticut.

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