10 people were killed in a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y.
Updated May 14, 2022 at 8:56 PM ET
A gunman wearing military-style clothing and body armor opened fire with a rifle at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., killing 10 people in a shooting officials are investigating as a racially motivated hate crime.
The alleged gunman, who livestreamed the attack online, was arraigned on first-degree murder charges hours after he was taken into custody, law enforcement officials said.
A total of 13 people were shot at the Tops Friendly Market on Saturday afternoon, officials said at a press conference. Of the 13 victims, four were store employees, including a security guard, and the rest were customers. Eleven of the victims were Black, and two were white, said Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.
"It was straight up a racially motivated hate crime," said Erie County Sheriff John Garcia. "This was pure evil."
Buffalo police have not publicly identified the suspect, but said he is an 18-year-old white male from Broome County, a few hours' drive away.
The suspect has been arraigned on a first-degree murder charge, which holds a sentence of life without parole, said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn during a Saturday evening briefing. A felony hearing is set to take place on May 19.
Stephen Belongia, the FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo field office, said the agency is investigating the shooting as a hate crime and "an instance of racially motivated violent extremism." Federal authorities are also looking at possible terrorism charges.
The shooting began at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time outside the supermarket, which is located in a predominately Black neighborhood, about 3 miles north of downtown Buffalo.
The gunman opened fire with an assault-style rifle, shooting four people in the parking lot, law enforcement officials said. Three of those people died.
After the gunman worked his way into the store, the security guard, a retired police officer, confronted the shooter. The suspect then shot and killed the security guard.
The suspect was later confronted by police at the front of the store. He briefly held a gun to his neck, but police said they talked him into dropping his guns and surrendering.
The attack was livestreamed online
The shooter livestreamed the incident on the platform Twitch, according to a spokeswoman for the company. Twitch said the stream was taken offline less than 2 minutes after the violence started, and has indefinitely suspended the user from the service.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul questioned how the violent attack could be livestreamed, saying social media companies need to be responsible for monitoring activity on their platforms. Social media, she said, can become "an accomplice — if, not legally, but morally."
The streaming platform did not say how many viewers the livestream received, but the company said it is monitoring the platform for restreams of any parts of the graphic footage, which violates its rules against streaming violence.
"We are devastated to hear about the shooting that took place this afternoon in Buffalo, New York. Our hearts go out to the community impacted by this tragedy," said Twitch spokeswoman Samantha Faught.
The White House said President Biden had been briefed on the shooting and will continue to receive updates.
"The President and the First Lady are praying for those who have been lost and for their loved ones," Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.