An 18-year-old white man has been jailed after allegedly committing a mass shooting at a New York supermarket on Saturday. According to CNNsued Judge Craig Hannah Payton S. Gendron in the Buffalo City District Court, charging him with first degree murder. The suspected shooter pleaded not guilty. US Attorney General Merrick Garland said authorities are investigating the mass shooting “as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism”.
“We will use all of the federal government’s resources on this matter,” FBI Agent Stephen Belongia said at a news conference. “This is the Justice Department’s number one priority and I can assure the citizens of this community that whatever we can do with this case at the federal level will be done. And justice will be served for the victims.”
Police believe mass shooter posted racist and anti-immigrant manifesto
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Payton arrived in tactical gear at a Tops Friendly Market at 2:30 p.m. local time and was livestreaming through a camera attached to his helmet. Payton is not from Buffalo and it is reported that he drove several hours to this particular supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood.
He then allegedly shot 13 people, 11 of which were black. Ten people have died from the attack so far. An Erie County Medical Center spokesperson said: CNN that two people remain in the hospital.
According to The New York Times, a law enforcement official said police are also investigating an online manifesto. Apparently, officials believe the suspected shooter posted the manifesto. The document emphasized the “great replacement theory.” The theory claims that white Americans are at risk of being replaced by non-white people. The document was reportedly “riddled with racist, anti-immigrant views”.
Payton reportedly said, “You just have to go for it,” as he drove into the front of the Tops store. The Twitch livestream footage also shows an anti-black slur (the n-word, hard R) written on the barrel of the weapon used in the attack.
Twitch Confirms Alleged Shooter Used Their Platform To Stream
According to cnn, Twitch confirmed that Payton was using their platform to stream the footage. A company spokesperson said Twitch removed the live stream less than two minutes after the attacks began. Twitch has also “suspended the suspected shooter” from their platform indefinitely.
Payton shot four people in the parking lot, leaving three dead. He then entered the store and fired at customers before a retired Buffalo police officer who worked as a security guard tried to stop him. Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the guard fired several shots at Payton, but his tactical gear prevented injury. The suspected gunman fired back, fatally hitting the guard and continuing his frenzy.
When the police arrived and confronted Payton, he put a gun to his neck. However, two officers convinced the suspected gunman to drop his weapon and surrender.
The court has scheduled Payton for another appearance on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET, per cnn. This is a story in development.