Thu, 07 Jul 2022

The suspect is an 18-year-old white man heavily armed with tactical gear and a helmet, said Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia in a press briefing late Saturday.

NEW YORK, May 15 (Xinhua) -- An armored gunman killed ten people and injured 3 at a supermarket at Buffalo, in New York State on Saturday, according to local enforcement officials.

The suspect was heavily armed with tactical gear and a helmet, said Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia in a press briefing late Saturday. The alleged gunman has been named as Payton S. Gendron, an 18-year-old White man. He wore military-style clothing and body armor while carrying a rifle, according to reports.

He had a camera and the shooting was live-streamed, according to Gramaglia. He pleaded not guilty in court Saturday night, Buffalo City Court Chief Judge Craig Hannah told CNN.

The mass shooting is being investigated as a hate crime, said Stephen Belongia, the special agent in charge of the local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Gramaglia said 11 victims are black while the other two are white.

The suspect drove to the supermarket around 2:30 p.m. (1830 GMT) and shot four people in the parking lot, said Gramaglia.

"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 Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

After shooting innocents inside the supermarket, the gunman once put the gun to his own neck but was persuaded by patrol officers to drop his gun, according to Gramaglia.

The gunman has been taken into custody and transported to Buffalo Police Headquarters.

He was arraigned on a charge of murder in the first degree Saturday evening, according to a district attorney. He pleaded not guilty.

Named Tops Friendly Market, the supermarket is located in a black-dominated community, which is around two miles (3.2 km) northeast of downtown Buffalo.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who was born in Buffalo, said she is on the way to Buffalo to assist with the response to the shooting, and a family unification site has been set up for family members of the shooting victims.

"We must do more to address the scourge of racism and anti-Semitism, and to pass commonsense gun safety measures to keep our communities safe," said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from New York State.

More than 28,000 people have died or been injured due to gun-related incidents in the United States this year, according to a database run by the nonprofit research group Gun Violence Archive.

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