Authorities in Buffalo, New York began their week working on the investigation into this weekend’s mass shooting at a Tops supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood in the city. 10 people were killed and three others were wounded in the shooting. Authorities said they were investigating the shooting as as a potential federal hate crime or act of domestic terrorism.
“Using the evidence that we have uncovered so far makes no mistake that this is an absolute racist hate crime. It will be prosecuted as a hate crime,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Sunday. “This is someone who has hate in their heart, soul and mind. And there is no mistake that that’s the direction that this is going in this.”
18-year-old Payton Gendron was taken into custody and arraigned for murder over the weekend. Police said he traveled about 200 miles from his home in Conklin, New York to commit the attack. After the Buffalo supermarket shooting, a 180-page document, purportedly written by Gendron, circulated online. The document appears to outlines Gendron’s racist, anti-immigrant and antisemitic beliefs, including a desire to drive all people of non-European descent from the U.S. The document seemed to draw inspiration from the gunman who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019.
“This individual came here with the expressed purpose of taking as many Black lives as he possibly could,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said Sunday. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) added there “was no other way to describe it than white supremacy terrorism.”
The Buffalo supermarket shooting was one of several mass shootings from over the weekend. In Southern California, a man opened fire during a lunch reception at a church Sunday. He killed one and wounded five others before being stopped and hog-tied by parishioners in what a sheriff’s official called an act of “exceptional heroism and bravery.”
Also Sunday, two people were killed and three more were taken to a hospital with injuries after a shooting at a Houston flea market. According to the local sherrif, the shooting was the result of an “altercation” that involved at least two guns and all five of the people.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.