At least 10 people were killed in a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, NY Saturday afternoon, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.
Details on the number of additional people shot at the Tops Friendly Market and their terms were not immediately available. Buffalo police said the alleged gunman, who was not identified, was in custody earlier Saturday afternoon.
The two officials were not allowed to speak publicly about the case and did so on condition of anonymity.
Police officials and a spokesperson for the supermarket chain did not immediately respond to reports from The Associated Press asking for comment.
The gunman entered the supermarket with a rifle and opened fire, one of the officials said. Investigators believe the man streamed the shooting live and are investigating whether he posted a manifesto online, the official said.
The official warned that the investigation was in its early stages and authorities had not yet identified a clear motive, but are investigating whether the shooting was racially motivated.
The supermarket is located in a predominantly black neighborhood about three miles north of downtown Buffalo. The area is primarily residential, with a Family Dollar store and a fire station near the store.
Witnesses reported that the gunman was wearing military-style clothing and body armor, one of the officials said.
Braedyn Kephart and Shane Hill, both 20, pulled into the parking lot just as the gunman was about to leave. They described him as a white man in his late teens or early twenties wearing full camouflage, a black helmet and what appeared to be a rifle.
“He stood there with the gun to his chin. We thought, what the hell is going on? Why does this boy have a gun to his face?’ said Kephart. He fell to his knees. “He ripped off his helmet, dropped his gun and was tackled by the police.”
BREAKING: BPD at the scene of a mass shooting at the Tops on the 1200 block of Jefferson Avenue. Several people were hit by gunshots, police said. The shooter is trapped. Motorists and residents are requested to avoid the area.
Police closed the block, lined by onlookers, and yellow police tapes surrounded the entire parking lot. Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz were on the scene late Saturday afternoon, gathered in a parking lot across the street from the Tops store, expecting to address the media.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted that she was closely monitoring “the shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo,” her hometown. She said state officials have offered assistance to local authorities.
I’m closely following the shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo. We have provided assistance to local officials. If you are in Buffalo, avoid the area and follow directions from law enforcement and local officials.
The Erie County Sheriff’s Office said on social media that it had instructed all available personnel to assist the Buffalo Police Department.
The shooting came just over a year after a March 2021 attack on a King Soopers supermarket in Boulder, Colorado that killed 10 people. Investigators have not released any information as to why they believe the man charged in that attack was the supermarket’s target.