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At least 10 killed in US supermarket shooting

By AI HEPING in New York | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-05-15 06:48

A crowd gathers as police investigate after a shooting at a supermarket, May 14, 2022, in Buffalo, New York state of the US. [Photo/Agencies]

Ten people were killed and three were wounded on Saturday when a heavily armed white man opened fire at a grocery store in a predominantly black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, in what authorities said was a racially motivated mass shooting. The 18-year-old suspect surrendered to police.

He was identified as Payton Gendron, 18, from Conklin, about 200 miles southeast of Buffalo in New York state, two law enforcement officials who asked for anonymity told The Associated Press.

Officials said 11 of the victims in the shooting spree are black and two are white.

Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told reporters the suspect, who was wearing tactical gear, used a camera to live-stream the attack and shot several victims in the parking lot before entering the outlet of the regional grocery chain Tops Friendly Markets in a neighborhood a few miles north of downtown Buffalo.

Officials said the gunman broadcast the attack live on Twitch, the livestreaming site owned by Amazon that is popular with gamers. Twitch said it had taken the channel offline.

Among the victims who died was a retired Buffalo police officer who was working as a security guard and who engaged with the shooter after he entered Tops, officials said. He struck the suspect, but the suspect was wearing body armor. The security guard was killed.

John J. Flynn, district attorney for Erie County, said the suspect will be charged with murder in the first degree.

Stephen Blodgett, the special agent in charge of the FBI Buffalo field office, said the shooting was being investigated both as a hate crime and a "case of racially motivated violent extremism".

John C. Garcia, the Eerie County sheriff, said that "this was a straight up racially motivated hate crime". He added that someone from "outside of our community came to inflict evil.''

Authorities said the gunman drove a vehicle to the front of the store and opening fire in the parking lot.

Braedyn Kephart and Shane Hill, both 20, said they pulled into the parking lot just as the shooter was exiting.

A crowd gathers as police investigate after a shooting at a supermarket, May 14, 2022, in Buffalo, New York state of the US. [Photo/Agencies]

"He was standing there with the gun to his chin. We were like what the heck is going on? Why does this kid have a gun to his face?" Kephart said. He dropped to his knees. "He ripped off his helmet, dropped his gun, and was tackled by the police."

Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted that she was "closely monitoring the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo", her hometown.

The shooting came little more than a year after a March 2021 attack at a King Soopers grocery in Boulder, Colorado, that killed 10 people.

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