Lone gunman opens fire in Buffalo supermarket killing 10 in racially motivated attack

Courtesy Erie County District Attorney’s Office

On Saturday, May14, a white man shot 13 people at Tops Market, a supermarket in Buffalo in a predominantly black neighborhood. He killed ten and wounded three. He traveled about 200 miles to commit the horrific, racially motivated crime. President Joe Biden released a strong statement condemning the crime and said, “Hate must have no safe harbor.”


Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said that 11 of those who were shot were black and two were white. Four of them were store employees, according to Buffalo News. Although the names were not released sources said the dead included Aaron Salter, the security guard at the store who was a recently retired police officer and Ruth Whitfield, who is the mother of Garnell Whitfield, former Buffalo Fire Commissioner. Gramaglia praised Salter and called him a hero for confronting the shooter.


A police official on the scene said that the parking lot had four bodies. Sources told the outlet that several victims were found inside the supermarket and some of those who died were apparently hiding near cash register lines. One police source described it as “walking onto a horror movie, but everything is real.”

Police officials also said that the shooter was dressed in body armor. He wore a military grade helmet on his head. He carried a high-powered rifle and live streamed the shooting. The stream was taken down within minutes.

Erie County District Attorney’s Office

The shooter was arraigned on Saturday evening at the Buffalo City Court. He was identified as Payton Gendron, 18. He appeared before Judge Craig Hannah on the charge of first-degree murder. He was also identified as a resident of Conklin, in Broome County, near Binghamton.

The FBI local head, Stephen Belongia said that the crime is being investigated by the agency “both as a hate crime and racially motivated violent extremism.”

Eric County District Attorney John J. Flynn said that the evidence collected in the investigation showed that “racial animosity” was the reason for the attack.

The outlet said that an 180-page manifesto, filled with hate, that was supposedly written by the 18-year old shooter, was circulated on social media. However, the outlet was unable to confirm its veracity.

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