The 18-year-old man who allegedly shot and killed 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday afternoon was motivated by hate, authorities said.
The Tops Friendly Market where the shooting took place is located in the heart of Buffalo’s black community and 11 of the 13 people shot by the white suspect were black, authorities said.
“This was pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John C. Garcia said at a news conference Saturday, calling the shooting a “racially motivated hate crime by someone outside of our community.”
The US Department of Justice is investigating the shooting “as a hate crime and a racially motivated act of violent extremism,” according to a statement from US Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Payton Gendron of Conklin, New York, was charged with first-degree murder on Saturday, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said in a news release. Conklin is about a three and a half hour drive from Buffalo.
He pleaded not guilty.
Here’s what we know about the shooting suspect.
Authorities say that when the suspect arrived at the store around 2:30 p.m., he was heavily armed, wearing tactical gear, a helmet and had a camera live-streaming his actions.
The suspect used an assault weapon, Flynn said during the news conference.
In his news release, Flynn said the suspect shot four people outside the grocery store, three of them fatally. As he entered the store, he exchanged gunfire with an armed security guard whom authorities say was a retired Buffalo police officer. The security guard died from his injuries. The suspect shot eight more people in the store, six of whom died, according to the statement.
Popular live streaming platform Twitch confirmed on Saturday that the shooting suspect used his platform to broadcast a live stream during the attack.
The company said it was “devastated” to hear about the shooting, adding that the user “has been indefinitely suspended from our service and we are taking all appropriate steps, including monitoring any accounts that re-broadcast this content.”
CNN obtained a portion of the live feed showing the suspected shooter arriving at a Tops store.
The video is recorded from the point of view of the suspected shooter as he enters the supermarket parking lot. The person is seen in the rearview mirror wearing a helmet and is heard saying, “I have to,” before stopping in front of the store.
In the video, customers of the store can be seen walking through the parking lot as the suspect approaches.
A Twitch spokesperson said the company removed the live stream less than two minutes after the violence began. The company did not immediately respond to follow-up questions about whether the suspect was actively shooting when the live feed was stopped.
Investigators were reviewing an alleged 180-page manifesto that was posted online in connection with the shooting investigation Saturday, two federal law enforcement sources told CNN.
The manifesto, independently obtained by CNN shortly after the attack and before authorities released the suspect’s name, is allegedly written by a person claiming to be Payton Gendron and a confessed to the attack.
The author of the manifesto says he bought ammunition for some time, but did not get serious about planning the attack until January. The author also continues his perceptions of the declining size of the white population and claims of ethnic and cultural replacement for whites.
A part of the document is written in the form of questions and answers.
The author of the manifesto attributes most of his beliefs to the internet and describes himself as a fascist, white supremacist and anti-Semite.
Gendron was arraigned Saturday night before Buffalo City Court Chief Judge Craig Hannah on one count of first-degree murder, according to the district attorney’s news release.
He pleaded not guilty, Hannah told CNN. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole, according to the release.
And more charges are possible, authorities said.
“My office is working closely with the US Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners on potential terrorism and hate crimes. This is an active investigation and additional charges may be filed,” Flynn said in a statement.
Gendron will return to court on the morning of May 19 for a felony hearing, according to the statement. He will remain in custody without bond, he added.