At least ten people are dead after a shooting rampage at a supermarket in Buffalo on Saturday afternoon. There were also three people wounded – two of which are in critical condition, according to the Buffalo News. One of the people killed was reportedly a recently retired Buffalo Police Department officer who was working security at the store.
According to law enforcement and witnesses, the gunman shot and killed his victims at the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia revealed at a news conference that the "very heavily armed" suspect shot four people in the parking lot, killing three. He then entered the supermarket and confronted a "beloved" retired police officer who worked at the store as a security guard. The two exchanged gunfire, several bullets hit the gunman but did not impact him because of his body armor. The shooter then shot and killed the guard.
Police say that the shooting suspect – who has yet to be identified – has been taken into custody.
The Associated Press reported, "Investigators believe the man may have been livestreaming the shooting and were looking into whether he had posted a manifesto online, the official said."
The official also told the AP that law enforcement was investigating the possibility that the mass shooting was "racially motivated." However, the official cautioned that the investigation was in its "preliminary stages" and that authorities had yet to determine a motive.
Erie County Sheriff John Garcia called the attack a "straight-up racially motivated hate crime."
Garcia added, "This person was pure evil."
Stephen Belongia – special agent in charge of the FBI's Buffalo Field Office – said the shooting is being considered a hate crime and racially motivated violent extremism, according to CBS News. Officials said they discovered evidence of "racial animosity."
A law enforcement source told CBS News that the 18-year-old suspect allegedly screamed racial slurs during the shooting. The source added that the gunman had a racial slur written on his rifle.
Of the 13 shooting victims, there are 11 who are black.
Officials say that the man drove from "hours away" to commit the shooting.
According to the AP, "Witnesses reported the gunman was wearing military-style clothing and body armor, one of the officials said."
The Buffalo News also reported that the suspect was wearing body armor.
Witness Braedyn Kephart described the suspect as a white male in his late teens or early 20s, who was wearing full camo and a black helmet.
Kephart told the Associated Press, “He was standing there with the gun to his chin. We were like, 'What the heck is going on? Why does this kid have a gun to his face?'"
The gunman allegedly dropped to his knees then "ripped off his helmet, dropped his gun, and was tackled by the police," Kephart said.
A Buffalo Police official said, "It’s like walking onto a horror movie, but everything is real. It is Armageddon-like. It is so overwhelming."
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul wrote on Twitter: "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."
More details on the Buffalo supermarket shooting can be seen in the video below.
Buffalo shooting: 'Multiple people' shot at Tops grocery store, suspect in custody www.youtube.com
Eyewitness describes Buffalo supermarket shooting www.youtube.com