An 18-year-old white man killed 10 people and wounded three in a shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, upstate New York, before surrendering after what authorities called “racially motivated violent extremism.”
According to the FBI, the main version under investigation is a combination of racial extremism and hate crime.
According to investigators, the man was armed with an automatic weapon. His attack was broadcast in real-time on the Twitch platform, Amazon video service. Of the 13 killed and wounded, 11 are black and the other two are white.
Court documents cite the suspects as Peyton Gendron of Conklin, a city of about 5,000 people in the South Tire area of New York near the Pennsylvania border. He is believed to have driven several hours to reach the predominantly black part of the city.
He has already been charged with first-degree murder (the most heinous crime of murder in the United States) and his maximum sentence could be life imprisonment without parole. Gendron will have to remain in custody and undergo a forensic examination and will stand trial again on May 19.
“Heavily armed, like in the army”
According to US officials, quoted by Reuters, the young man, who studied at Broome College in New York, according to local media, was on the verge of taking his own life before being arrested. Police explained that he had a weapon in his neck in front of store employees after the killings, but was forced by them to take him down and hand him over.
The keeper of Tops Friendly Markets is one of those killed, the other nine are customers. The three injured are employees. “The store was full. It’s the weekend. It’s like a nightmare,” he was quoted as saying by a BBC employee.
A manager at the store told the local newspaper Buffalo News that he heard up to 70 shots and then saw the attacker: in his camouflage clothes he looked “like in the army”. Police explain that he was heavily armed.
“This man was pure evil,” Eri County Chief John Garcia was quoted as saying by Reuters. “It was a purely racially motivated hate crime committed by a person outside our community.” President Joe Biden condemned the shooting as “disgusting to the very fabric of the nation.” “We must do everything we can to put an end to hateful domestic terrorism.”
According to the governor of New York, Katie Hochul, it is worrying that the killer managed to report the attack on social networks. “The fact that this can even be published on a platform is shocking. These publications need to be more vigilant when monitoring content on social media.” Twitch insists it removed the live broadcast two minutes after the shooting began.
It was a military-style execution of people who just wanted to buy vegetables at the neighborhood store.
“Katie Hochul, the governor of New York.”
A 180-page manifesto on the “Great Theory of Substitution” is being circulated online – the idea that white people are being replaced by minorities in the United States and elsewhere. It is said that its author is Gendron.
The Buffalo shooting follows a pattern of other racially motivated massacres in recent years, including an attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue that killed 11 people in October 2018. In Atlanta in March 2021, a white man killed eight people at a spa center, and the target was Asians. Saturday’s shooting was also reminiscent of the 2019 attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand when the killer broadcast the killings live on Facebook.
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