New York, May 14 (EFE).- Ten people were killed and three others wounded Saturday in what authorities called a racially motivated shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
All but two of the 13 people shot by the suspect, identified as a 18-year-old white man, were African-Americans, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said.
The suspect, whose name was withheld, arrived at the Tops Friendly Markets store around 2:30 pm wearing body armor and a helmet and live-streamed the attack on social media, Gramaglia said.
After getting out of his vehicle, he shot four people in the parking lot – killing three of them – before entering the store, where he continued shooting.
The store’s security guard, a former Buffalo police officer, fired his weapon at the shooter, but the suspect’s body armor deflected the bullets and he fatally shot the guard.
Police responding to the attack were able to persuade the suspect to put down the weapon after he “put the gun to his own neck,” Gramaglia said.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said that the suspect came from a considerable distance to carry out the shooting.
“The shooter was not from this community. In fact, the shooter traveled hours from outside this community to perpetrate this crime on the people of Buffalo,” he said.
The sheriff of surrounding Erie County, John Garcia, reinforced the mayor’s message.
“It was straight-up, racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community, outside of the city of good neighbors as the mayor said, coming into our community and trying to inflict that evil upon us,” Garcia said.
Stephen Belongia, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo Field Office, said that the mass shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.
Roughly 37 percent of Buffalo residents are Black. EFE jfu/dr