News   /   Society

Hate crimes in US claim more lives: White gunman kills 10 people, mostly Black

Police officers secure the scene after a shooting at TOPS supermarket in Buffalo, New York, US, May 14, 2022. (Reuters photo)

A white American gunman has shot dead 10 people and injured three others - 11 of the 13 victims were Black - at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, in an act of "racially motivated violent extremism."

Following the mass shooting on Saturday, the 18-year-old gunman surrendered to police in what authorities said would be investigated as a hate crime.

Authorities said the suspect, who was armed with an assault-style rifle, came to Buffalo from a New York county "hours away" to target the store in a predominantly Black community.

Eleven of the 13 people struck by gunfire were Black, and two were white, officials said.

Stephen Belongia, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Buffalo Field Office, said the FBI is assisting in the investigation as well during a news conference.

Erie County Sheriff John Garcia called the shooting "pure evil" during the news conference.

"It was straight-up, racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community, outside of the city of good neighbors as the mayor said, coming into our community and trying to inflict that evil upon us," Garcia said.

"Ten people were killed by a gunman dressed in body armor and armed with a high-powered rifle, while three others were wounded -- two of them critically," reported local daily The Buffalo News, citing a police official at the scene and another source close to law enforcement.

"BPD (Buffalo Police Department ) on the scene of a mass shooting at the Tops in the 1200 block of Jefferson Avenue," the Buffalo Police Department tweeted. "Police say multiple people have been struck by gunfire. The shooter is in custody. Motorists and residents are urged to avoid the area."

The police are investigating whether the shooter livestreamed the attack, the paper said, as has been alleged on social media.

"It's like walking onto a horror movie, but everything is real. It is Armageddon-like," a police official told the newspaper.

"I'm actively monitoring the situation with the grocery store shooting in Buffalo. We are standing with the people of Buffalo," said the senior US senator from New York state, Chuck Schumer, in a tweet.

“I ache for the victims and their families. I ache for Buffalo. I ache for the tight-knit East Side community. Racism has no place in our state or our country,” he added in a later tweet. “I’ve spoken with the Mayor of Buffalo and offered any help we can provide. We stand with the people of Buffalo.”

“I’m devastated to learn about the senseless gun violence in Milwaukee last night. My heart breaks for the victims, their families, & the MKE community. I hope for speedy recoveries,” Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) said. “This is another unfortunate reminder we must work together to confront the scourge of gun violence.”

A number of US lawmakers condemned what authorities said were racist motivations behind the shooting and urged Congress to take action to try to reduce further gun violence.

“My prayers are with the victims of this racially motivated act of violence and my heart goes out to the victims’ loved ones, our emergency personnel and the entire Buffalo community. Racism, prejudice and hatred have no place in our state or our country,” Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) tweeted. 

“I pledge to the people of New York that I will continue to fight my hardest to pass commonsense gun safety measures and to confront and defeat the scourge of white supremacy.”

“I know we can’t stop all gun violence. But can we finally acknowledge that refusal to do anything is shameful?” Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) said. “The Senate can AT LEAST hold a vote on the background checks bills we passed. Maybe we can save a life.  Today we are reminded again that we must try.”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) hit the GOP over its stance on gun control while making reference to Republicans’ efforts to restrict abortion access.

The Erie County Sheriff's Office expressed its condolences, adding that Sheriff John Garcia "has ordered all available resources and personnel to assist" police.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted, "I am closely monitoring the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo. We have offered assistance to local officials. If you are in Buffalo, please avoid the area and follow guidance from law enforcement and local officials."

A US law enforcement official said the scene was no longer active and there were no other suspects outstanding. 

"We are shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families," Tops Friendly Markets said in a statement. "Our top priority remains the health and well-being of our associates and customers. We appreciate the quick response of local law enforcement and are providing all available resources to assist authorities in the ongoing investigation."

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku