A heavily armed 18-year-old white gunman shot and killed 10 people Saturday at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York in a “racially motivated” attack he streamed live on camera, authorities said.
The gunman, who was wearing a helmet and tactical gear, was arrested after the massacre, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told a news conference.
Gramaglia estimated the toll at 10 dead and three injured. Most of the victims were black, according to police.
The gunman first shot four people in the parking lot of the Tops supermarket, three of them fatally, then went inside and continued shooting, Gramaglia said.
Among the dead in the store was a retired police officer who worked as an armed security guard.
The guard “involved the suspect, fired several shots,” but the gunman – who was protected by body armor – shot him, Gramaglia said.
When police arrived, the gunman put the gun to his neck, but was talked down and eventually surrendered, he added.
Stephen Belongia, special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Buffalo, told the news conference that the shooting is under investigation as a hate crime.
“We are investigating this incident as both a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism,” Belongia said.
Eerie County Sheriff John Garcia described the attack as “pure evil”.
“It was outright racially motivated hate crime by someone outside of our community,” he said.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said US President Joe Biden had been informed of the “horrific shooting.”
Biden “will continue to receive updates throughout the evening and tomorrow as more information develops. The president and the first lady pray for those who died and for their loved ones,” Jean-Pierre added.
Police suspected that the graphic video of that shooting that circulated online shortly afterwards was filmed by the gunman himself, but have not confirmed its authenticity or streamed it live.
With inputs from NDTV