Thirteen people — 11 of them African Americans — were shot dead, three of whom sustained non-life-threatening injuries, said Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia. Two victims were white, Gramaglia said.
“The shooter traveled hours from outside of this community to commit this crime against the people of Buffalo on a day when people were enjoying the sun, enjoying family, enjoying friends,” the mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown, at a press conference Saturday night. “People in a supermarket, shopping and bullets are raining down on them. People’s lives are taken for no reason in the blink of an eye.”
The suspect, Payton Gendron, an 18-year-old white man, has been charged with first-degree murder, Chief Justice of the Buffalo City Court Craig Hannah told CNN, adding that prosecutors plan to indict the suspect and file additional charges. Gendron pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The suspect first opened fire in the store’s parking lot and then went inside, where he continued shooting before surrendering to police, Gramaglia said.
The FBI is investigating the shooting as both a hate crime and a racial violent extremism case, said Stephen Belongia, FBI special agent serving the Buffalo Field Office.
Here’s what we know about the shooting and the investigation.
The suspect broadcast the violence live
Around 2:30 p.m. Saturday, the suspect drove to the Tops Friendly Markets convenience store on Jefferson Avenue, got out of his vehicle and shot four people in the parking lot, Gramaglia said. Three of those people died, while another is thought to survive, Gramaglia said.
“He was very heavily armed,” said the commissioner. “He had tactical gear, he had a tactical helmet on, he had a camera that he was broadcasting live what he was doing.”
The suspect used an assault weapon, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said.
Live streaming platform Twitch confirmed on Saturday that the suspect used their platform to stream a live broadcast during the attack.
The company said it was “devastated” to hear about the shooting, adding that the user “has been suspended from our service indefinitely and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring all accounts viewing this content.” broadcast again”.
After shooting four people in the parking lot, the suspect went into the store and began shooting at customers. A security guard at the store, a retired Buffalo police officer, shot and killed the suspect. However, because the suspect was wearing heavy armor, the bullets had no effect, Gramaglia said.
The suspect shot the security guard and continued to work his way through the store, the commissioner said. When police arrived, the suspect put his gun to his neck but later dropped the gun and removed some of his gear, he added.
He surrendered and was taken to Buffalo Police Department.
Investigators review a manifest
Investigators were reviewing an alleged manifesto posted online Saturday related to the investigation into the Buffalo mass shooting, two federal law enforcement officials told CNN.
The manifesto, obtained independently by CNN shortly after the attack and before authorities released the suspect’s name, was allegedly authored by a person claiming to be Payton Gendron who confessed to the attack.
The manifesto’s author says he’s been buying ammunition for some time, but didn’t seriously start planning the attack until January.
The Manifesto’s author continues with his perceptions of the declining size of the white population and calls for ethnic and cultural replacement of whites.
Part of the document is in question-and-answer form. The manifesto’s author attributes most of his beliefs to the internet, describing himself as a fascist, white supremacist and anti-Semite.
Erie County Sheriff John C. Garcia said the shooting was a “plain racially motivated hate crime by someone outside of our community.”
“That was pure evil,” said the sheriff.
The supermarket is located near the predominantly black areas of Masten Park and Kingsley.
“You now have a white…attacker in a (majority) black community. Why did he choose this market?” This was announced by CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem.
When asked during Saturday’s news briefing why authorities were calling the mass shooting a hate crime, District Attorney Flynn said investigators had “certain evidence” that “suggests racial hostility.”
“I’m not going to… elaborate on what exactly they are at the moment, but we have evidence in custody at the moment that shows there is a racial component,” Flynn said.
What we know about the victims
Of the 13 people shot, 11 were African American and two were white, police commissioner Gramaglia said.
Four of the people shot were store employees, he said. One, the security guard, was killed while the other three suffered “non-fatal wounds,” he said.
Authorities have not yet shared any other information, including the ages of the victims.
CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian, Shimon Prokupecz, and Brian Stelter contributed to this report.