MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
We are learning more about a mass shooting that took place at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., this afternoon where 13 people were shot, 10 of them fatally. Authorities say a heavily armed white man drove from several hours away to a Tops Friendly Markets in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo and began shooting, first in the parking lot and then in the store, before he agreed to surrender. At a press conference, authorities are already calling the attack a racially motivated hate crime. Eleven of the victims are Black and two are white. Buffalo's mayor, Byron Brown is with us now to tell us more. Mr. Mayor, our condolences to you and your constituents and the families of those involved. Thank you so much for joining us.
BYRON BROWN: Thank you, Michel.
MARTIN: So law enforcement speaking to the public earlier had no hesitation about calling this a racially motivated hate crime. It's unusual for them to do so so early. So what can you tell us that makes them so sure?
BROWN: Law enforcement is working together at every level - federal, state, local. Investigation is continuing. But from the preliminary information that they have coming in, law enforcement feels very confident that this is a hate crime and that this was racially motivated. Buffalo is known as the city of good neighbors nationally and internationally. And for someone to travel 4 hours to come to our community and perpetrate this horrible crime is just absolutely unconscionable.
MARTIN: Was something said? I mean, I understand that the shooter livestreamed these events. Were words exchanged that causes you to be so convinced and law enforcement authorities to be so convinced other than the race of the victims?
BROWN: I've been asked not to go into too many details about the investigation at this point, but there are a number of things that have been uncovered at this point that make law enforcement feel very confident that this was a racially motivated crime.
MARTIN: So, Mr. Mayor, unfortunately, too many of your colleagues have addressed - have had to deal with something like this in the course of their careers, a mass attack like this. Obviously, you've expressed condolences to the families. You've called the community to sort of come together. What next? What are the next steps that you think need to happen to address this this terrible event?
BROWN: Well, obviously, families are going to be dealing with this for some time. We're going to wrap our arms around these families and the city of Buffalo. Collectively, our community is heartbroken and is in pain at this point. I know a number of the victims and know a number of the families involved. Many people in our community are touched by this in some way. And as you've indicated, Muchel, too many of these types of things have happened all across the country. It is beginning to look like not if, but when. No community is immune to this. Beautiful Sunday afternoon in Buffalo - pardon me - saturday afternoon in Buffalo, people shopping. wonderful weather. Who could begin to think that something as horrific as this would ever happen? We have to do more about guns in this country. And we have to get guns out of the hands of people that should not have them.
MARTIN: Byron Brown is the mayor of Buffalo. Mr. Mayor, thank you so much for talking to us on this terrible day. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.