10 useless, suspect arrested in mass taking pictures at grocery store

10 useless, suspect arrested in mass taking pictures at grocery store. 5/14/2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A gunman carrying navy gear and livestreaming with a helmet digital camera opened hearth with a rifle at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store in what authorities described as “racially motived violent extremism,” killing 10 individuals and wounding three others Saturday earlier than he surrendered, authorities mentioned.

Police officers mentioned the gunman, who additionally wore physique armor along with military-style clothes, pulled up within the afternoon and opened hearth amid customers at a Tops Friendly Market, the taking pictures streamed by way of a digital camera affixed to the person’s helmet.

“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 livestreaming what he was doing,” metropolis Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia mentioned at a information convention afterward.

Gramaglia mentioned the gunman initially shot 4 individuals exterior the shop, three fatally. Inside the shop, a safety guard who was a retired Buffalo police officer fired a number of pictures on the gunman and struck him, however the bullet hit the gunman’s bulletproof vest and had no impact, Gramaglia added. The commissioner mentioned the gunman then killed the safety guard.

Video additionally captured the suspect as he walked into the grocery store the place he shot a number of different victims inside, in keeping with authorities.

Police mentioned 11 of the victims had been Black and two are white. The grocery store is in a predominantly Black neighborhood just a few miles (kilometers) north of downtown Buffalo.

“This is the worst nightmare that any community can face, and we are hurting and we are seething right now,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown mentioned on the information convention. “The depth of pain that families are feeling and that all of us are feeling right now cannot even be explained.”

Gramaglia mentioned Buffalo police entered the shop and confronted the gunman within the vestibule.

“At that point the suspect put the gun to his own neck. Buffalo police personnel — two patrol officers — talked the suspect into dropping the gun. He dropped the gun, took off some of his tactical gear, surrendered at that point. And he was led outside, put in a police car,” he mentioned.

The suspected gunman was later recognized as Payton Gendron, 18, of Conklin, a New York state neighborhood about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Buffalo, two legislation enforcement officers advised The Associated Press. The officers weren’t permitted to talk publicly on the matter and did so on the situation of anonymity.

The suspect was being questioned Saturday night by the FBI, one of many officers mentioned, and Conklin was anticipated to look in courtroom later Saturday.

At the information briefing, Erie County Sheriff John Garcia pointedly known as the taking pictures a hate crime.

“This was pure evil. It was straight up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community, outside of the City of Good neighbors … coming into our community and trying to inflict that evil upon us,” Garcia mentioned.

Elsewhere, NAACP President Derrick Johnson issued an announcement wherein he known as the taking pictures “absolutely devastating.”

“Our hearts are with the community and all who have been impacted by this terrible tragedy. Hate and racism have no place in America. We are shattered, extremely angered and praying for the victims’ families and loved ones,” he added.

Separately, the Rev. Al Sharpton known as on the White House to convene a gathering with Black, Jewish and Asian “to underscore the Federal government (is) escalating its efforts against hate crimes.” In a tweet, Sharpton mentioned that “leaders of all these communities should stand together on this!”

The taking pictures got here little greater than a 12 months after a March 2021 assault at a King Soopers grocery in Boulder, Colorado, that killed 10 individuals. Investigators haven’t launched any details about why they imagine the person charged in that assault focused the grocery store.

At the scene in Buffalo on Saturday afternoon, police closed off a complete block, lined by spectators, and yellow police taped surrounded the complete parking zone.

Braedyn Kephart and Shane Hill, each 20, pulled into the parking zone simply because the shooter was exiting. They described him as a white male in his late teenagers or early twenties sporting full camo, a black helmet and what seemed to be a rifle.

“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?” Kephart mentioned. He dropped to his knees. “He ripped off his helmet, dropped his gun, and was tackled by the police.”

Tops Friendly Markets launched an announcement saying, “We are shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”

At the White House, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre mentioned President Joe Biden was receiving common updates on the taking pictures and the investigation and had provided prayers with the primary girl for the victims and their family members.

“The president has been briefed by his Homeland Security advisor on the horrific shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., this afternoon. He will continue to receive updates throughout the evening and tomorrow as further information develops,” she mentioned.

Attorney General Merrick Garland was briefed on the taking pictures, Justice Department spokesperson Anthony Coley mentioned.

More than two hours after the taking pictures, Erica Pugh-Mathews was ready exterior the shop, behind police tape.

“We would like to know the status of my aunt, my mother’s sister. She was in there with her fiance, they separated and went to different aisles,” she mentioned. “A bullet barely missed him. He was able to hide in a freezer but he was not able to get to my aunt and does not know where she is. We just would like word either way if she’s OK.”


Associated Press reporters John Wawrow in Buffalo and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report. Balsamo reported from Washington and Collins reported from Hartford, Connecticut.

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