An 18-year-old male suspect is in custody following a mass shooting Saturday at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, where a gunman shot at least 13 people, killing 10 in what police called a “felony.” racially motivated hatred. ”
The suspect wore “tactical gear” and livestreamed the shooting, according to authorities. He reportedly posted a manifesto online, according to the Associated Press, citing investigators who have warned that the investigation is at a preliminary stage.
The suspect arrived at the supermarket after 2:30 pm ET and shot four people in the parking lot, killing three, before entering the store and firing several rounds.
Erie County Sheriff John Garcia called the shooting “pure evil” and a “directly racially motivated hate crime by someone outside of our community.”
“This is the worst nightmare any community can face,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said during a news conference Saturday night. “We are hurt and we are furious.”
Among the victims, 11 of the 13 shooting victims are black, authorities said Saturday.
In addition to the 10 people who died, three suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The suspected shooter was not from Buffalo, but “traveled hours” from another county in the state to “perpetuate this crime against the people of Buffalo,” according to the mayor.
One of the victims was a retired Buffalo police officer who worked as a security guard at the store, who shot the suspect but was unable to stop him because the suspected shooter was wearing a bulletproof vest.
Two officers later persuaded the suspect to drop his weapons and surrender.
A Tops Markets employee who identified himself as Will G said the buffalo news who hid with a group of people in the cold room of a supermarket while shots were heard in the store.
“I only heard gunshots. Shots and shots and shots,” he told the outlet. “It sounded like things were falling down. … I hid. I just hid. I wasn’t going to leave that room.”
The market at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street in Buffalo, New York’s second-largest city, is in a largely residential, predominantly black neighborhood about three miles north of downtown.
A statement from Tops Market said the company is “shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”
US Attorney Merrick Garland has been briefed on the shooting, according to a Justice Department spokesperson.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said she is “closely monitoring” the incident and has advised residents to avoid the area.
A statement from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office offers “condolences to the family and friends” of the victims. New York Attorney General Letitia James said “all of New York stands with Buffalo after this tragic mass shooting.”
US Representative Brian Higgins, who represents Buffalo in Congress, said he is “appalled” by the reports and has offered federal support to local authorities if needed.
Local police as well as the New York State Police and the FBI are investigating the shooting.
The suspected shooter could face life in prison on murder charges, according to authorities.