Police in Buffalo, New York say that an 18-year-old allegedly opened fire at a grocery store on Saturday afternoon, killing 10 people and injuring three others.
Buffalo Police Department Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said that an 18-year-old White male allegedly committed the shooting and was live-streaming it on an online social media platform, which officials later identified as Twitch. A spokesperson for the company told Fox News that the video was taken down two minutes after the violence began.
According to officials, the shooter, identified as Payton Gendron, 18, traveled from "hours" outside of Buffalo, traveling from Conklin, New York. The drive from Conklin to Buffalo is almost three and a half hours.
The shooting happened at Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo.
Officials said during a press conference on Saturday that they believe the shooting was racially motivated and pointed to a roughly 180-page manifesto that the shooter wrote and posted before allegedly shooting a total of 13 people. The manifesto included a plan for the attack.
Gendron wrote in the manifesto that he identifies as a White Supremacist, stating that he fears White people are in the process of being replaced by people of other races.
Eleven of the victims in the attack are Black and two of them are White, according to authorities.
Gendron was charged with first-degree murder and pleaded not guilty in front of a judge on Saturday evening.
Saturday, May 14
Officials say that the 18-year-old exited his car at the Tops Friendly Market on the 1200 block of Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, New York, and allegedly began his racist attack on the grocery store which is in a predominately Black neighborhood in the city.
Police said that the individual was heavily armed and live-streamed his attack on a social media platform, which was later revealed as Twitch. A spokesperson for the company told Fox News that the video was taken down two minutes after the violence began.
During a press conference after the shooting, officials said that a total of 13 people were shot, adding that 10 people were killed. Eleven of the victims in the attack are Black and two of them are White, according to authorities.
Among the people killed are a retired Buffalo police officer, who was a security guard and fired multiple shots at the gunman but hit his bulletproof vest.
After killing the security guard, the shooter went through the store and shot other people, Gramaglia said.
Three people were killed in the parking lot of the grocery store, according to Gramaglia.
Gendron used a rifle that was purchased legally but contained magazines for ammunition that are banned from being sold in New York.
On Saturday evening, Gendron pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Saturday night that the Department of Justice is investigating the Buffalo mass shooting as a "hate crime and an act of racially-motivated violent extremism."
"The Justice Department is investigating this matter as a hate crime and an act of racially-motivated violent extremism. The Justice Department is committed to conducting a thorough and expeditious investigation into this shooting and to seeking justice for these innocent victims," Garland said in a statement.
"Tonight, the country mourns the victims of a senseless, horrific shooting in Buffalo, New York. The FBI and ATF are working closely with the Buffalo Police Department and federal, state, and local law enforcement partners," he added.
Sunday, May 15
Authorities said on Sunday that the 18-year-old suspect likely planned out the attack for months and pointed to the roughly 180-page manifesto that was posted by the alleged shooter before the attack.
During a press conference on Sunday, Gramaglia said that the families of the 10 victims from the attack were notified.
"Last night, we completed the process with the medical examiner's office and identifications," said Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia. "More importantly, we had a family reunification center and we were able to provide all those notifications so that they can begin the grieving process."
He added that based on the evidence thus far, the attack is an "absolute racist hate crime."
"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 says. "This is someone who has hate in their hearts ... And there is no mistake that that's the direction that this is going in. This will be completely geared toward securing a conviction for this individual."
Gramaglia also said that investigators are gathering search warrants to be executed on Gendron's home, his vehicle, his social media activity, digital footprint and technology, including telephones and a computer.
The Buffalo police commissioner also revealed that the suspect went through a mental health evaluation after allegedly making "threatening statements" in June 2021.
"That individual was brought in for a mental health evaluation," Gramaglia said. "He was evaluated and then he was released. As far as when we say 'On the radar,' there was nothing picked up on the state police intelligence, nothing that was picked up on the FBI intelligence. Nobody called in. Nobody called any complaints."
Gramaglia said that three weapons were found at the scene of the attack, stating there were three weapons. There were two in the car and one in his possession…"One was a rifle, one was a shotgun ... He had an AR-15."
Erie County Sheriff John C. Garcia said on Sunday that the 18-year-old suspect is being held on suicide watch.
Among the deceased is retired police officer Aaron Salter Jr. and Ruth Whitfield, who is the 86-year-old mother of Garnell Whitfield, who is a retired Buffalo fire commissioner.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said that Salter is a "hero in our eyes" on Saturday.
"There could have been more victims if not for his actions," Gramaglia said.
Whitfield was returning from a trip to visit her husband who is currently in a nursing home when she went into the grocery store.
Whitfield's son described her as "a mother to the motherless" and "a blessing to all of us."
"She inspired me to be a man of God, and to do whatever I do the best I could do. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her," he said.
The Buffalo Police Department released a full list of victims on Sunday night who died or were hurt in the attack:
Roberta A. Drury of Buffalo, New York, 32
Margus D. Morrison of Buffalo, New York, 52
Andre Mackneil of Auburn, New York, 53
Aaron Salter of Lockport, New York, 55
Geraldine Talley of Buffalo, New York, 62
Celestine Chaney of Buffalo, New York, 65
Heyward Patterson of Buffalo, New York, 67
Katherine Massey of Buffalo, New York, 72
Pearl Young of Buffalo, New York, 77
Ruth Whitfield of Buffalo, New York, 86
Suffered non-life threatening injuries:
Zaire Goodman of Buffalo, New York, 20
Jennifer Warrington of Tonawanda, New York, 50
Christopher Braden of Lackawanna, New York, 55
Fox News' Anders Hagstrom and the Associated Press contributed to this report