At least 10 people were killed and three others suffered non-life-threatening injuries during a mass shooting Saturday at a Buffalo grocery store, according to law enforcement officials.
Out of the 13 victims, 11 are Black while two are White, according to Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.
Over the last 72 hours, 98 Americans were killed and another 258 people were wounded by gunfire in the United States, including the victims in Buffalo. Four of those injured were shot in New Jersey.
Ten people died in Virginia and six people were shot dead in each of Florida, Illinois, and Texas. In other gun violence news, 32 people were injured in Illinois, 29 people were injured in Wisconsin, 27 people were injured in Texas, 20 people were injured in Ohio, 14 people were injured in Tennessee, and 12 people were injured in Virginia.
The Buffalo Police Department said the attack happened at the Tops Friendly Markets on Jefferson Avenue.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the 18-year-old White male shooting suspect was wearing tactical gear and live streaming as he entered the store.
“At approximately 2:30 today, an individual who the mayor stated is not from this area and is from hours away, drove to Buffalo and went to … the Tops market. He exited his vehicle, he was very heavily armed. He had tactical gear. He had a tactical helmet on. He had a camera that he was live streaming what he was doing,” Gramaglia said.
“The shooter was not from this community. In fact, the shooter traveled hours from outside this community to perpetrate this crime on the people of Buffalo,” said Mayor Byron Brown.
Buffalo police said a suspect is in custody but has not released any further information. A news conference is expected to unfold around 6 p.m. Saturday.
Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) said that at least eight people had been killed.
“Whether it’s in Florida, whether it’s in Connecticut, whether it’s in Buffalo, N.Y., this is a national problem that needs to be addressed,” said Higgins.
Buffalo is the second-largest city in New York state and it is located at the eastern end of Lake Erie, at the head of the Niagara River, and is across the Canadian border from Southern Ontario.
In the 21st century, Buffalo has been classified as a majority-minority city, with a plurality of residents who are Black and Latino.
In the World War II and postwar years from 1940 to 1970, the city’s Black population rose by 433 percent, but redlining, steering, social inequality, blockbusting, white flight and other unAmerican policies resulted in the region becoming one of the most segregated parts of the U.S.
During the 1940s and 1950s, large numbers of Puerto Rican migrants arrived, seeking industrial jobs, settling on the East Side and moving westward.
Stephen Belongia, special agent in charge of the FBI Buffalo field office, said at a news conference the shooting is being investigated as a racially motivated hate crime based on a purported manifesto posted online by the gunman.
Tops Friendly Markets released a statement following the shooting: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and our thoughts and prayer are with the victims and their families. Our top priority remains the health and well-being of our associates and customers. We appreciate the quick response by local law enforcement and are providing all available resources to assist authorities in the ongoing investigation.”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted, “I am closely monitoring the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo. We have offered assistance to local officials. If you are in Buffalo, please avoid the area and follow guidance from law enforcement and local officials.”
Byron Brown, the city’s first African American mayor, has held the office since 2006, longer than anyone else.
Brown was defeated by India Walton in the 2021 mayoral primary election, but he waged a successful write-in campaign in the general election and stopped her from becoming the city’s first female and socialist mayor.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas has been briefed on the shooting in Buffalo, according to an official tweet from the department.
“DHS is actively coordinating with all relevant local, state, and federal agencies and will continue to provide the Department’s full support,” according to the tweet.
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said the suspect will be arraigned on the charge of first degree murder this evening.
Flynn said he already called Judge Craig Hannah to come to arraign the individual so within the next hour, but officials have not named the suspect.