US mourns victims of racist mass shootings in store

Buffalo Police on the Ground at a Tops Friendly Market on May 14, 2022 in Buffalo, New York

Shocked residents of Buffalo, New York gathered at vigils and church services Sunday to mourn 10 people fatally shot by an alleged white supremacist in an act that one official described as “domestic terrorism, pure and simple.”

The suspected gunman, identified as 18-year-old Payton Gendron, was arrested at the scene of a supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood after police rushed to respond to emergency calls.

Gendron was arraigned late Saturday on a single count of first degree murder and was held without bail, the Erie County District Attorney’s office said. He pleaded not guilty.

– ‘military style execution’ –

In alternating angry and mournful tones, speakers denounced the latest outbreak of racial violence and the ready availability of powerful weapons in what has become a sadly familiar scene across America.

Hochul called on officials from both political parties to “make sure these people crawl back into their hole and stay there.”

The attack brought back memories of some of the worst racist attacks in recent US history, including the 2015 murder of a young white of nine worshipers at a black church in South Carolina, and the 2019 attack by a white man in South Carolina. Texas, claiming 23 lives. , most of them Latino.

Speaking on CNN on Sunday, Mayor Brown warned “lawmakers in Washington” who he says are “not acting” on gun control.

“Enough is enough.”

The gunman shot four people in the store’s parking lot, three of them fatally, before entering the supermarket.

When police arrived, the gunman put the gun to his neck, but was talked down and surrendered.

One, according to a Twitter post, was a 77-year-old “mother, grandmother and missionary” who “loved singing, dancing and being with the family” and who had a weekly pantry for 25 years to feed the poor.

“Some of us are very angry this morning,” he said, but “we answer in prayer — and we respond on our feet.”

The shooting is under investigation as a hate crime and “racially motivated violent extremism,” Stephen Belongia, a special agent in charge of the FBI field office in Buffalo, told reporters.

A spokesperson for streaming service Twitch told AFP that the gunman used the platform to broadcast the attack live, and that the company removed the stream “less than two minutes after the violence started”.

A semi-automatic weapon used in Saturday’s shooting also had a racial nickname on the barrel, according to local daily The Buffalo News, citing a local official.

But despite a strong pro-gun lobby, past attempts by the US Congress to tighten the country’s gun laws have generally failed, even after horrific shootings.

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Originally published as US mourning victims of racist mass shootings in store

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