In Buffalo New York, at least 10 people were killed when a gunman dressed in body armor and armed with a high-powered rifle opened fire at a local supermarket, the Buffalo News reports. Three others were wounded and two of them are in critical condition.
The mass shooting took place this Saturday afternoon in a predominantly Black neighborhood at the Tops Markets . The suspect is currently in custody but his identity has yet to be revealed. The suspect live-streamed his shooting rampage as it occurred.
As many as five bodies were found in the parking lot, the onsite police official said.
The authorities called the fatal incident a hate crime and that it was "racially motivated violent extremism."
Shonnell Harris, an operation manager at the Tops supermarket, said that she heard gunshots before running out the back. Also, she said she saw the shooter, whom she described as a white man wearing camouflage.
"He looked like he was in the Army,” she said.
Eye-witnesses Braedyn Kaphart and Shayne Hill said they saw the shooter as they entered a parking space in the Tops parking lot.
Kaphart also described him as a white male in his late teens or early 20s.
"He was standing there in his military gear with his weapon to his chin, looking like he was going to blow his head off," Kaphart said. "We weren't sure what was happening. As he continued to do that, he dropped to his knees still appearing as if he might shoot himself."
According to a post on Twitter from the Buffalo police department, Buffalo police responded to the scene of an “active multiple shooting event” at the market.
BREAKING: BPD on scene of a mass shooting at the Tops in the 1200 block of Jefferson Avenue. Police say multiple people have been struck by gunfire. The shooter is in custody. Motorists and residents are urged to avoid the area.— Buffalo Police Dept (@BPDAlerts) May 14, 2022
“BPD is on the scene of a mass shooting at the Tops in the 1200 block of Jefferson Avenue,” the tweet read. “Police say multiple people have been struck by gunfire. The shooter is in custody. Motorists and residents are urged to avoid the area."
In the aftermath of the tragic shooting, Tops Markets released a statement that was obtained by CNN.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” the statement read. "Our top priority remains the health and well-being of our associates and customers. We appreciate the quick response by local law enforcement and are providing all available resources to assist authorities in the ongoing investigation.”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted, “I am closely monitoring the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo. We have offered assistance to local officials. If you are in Buffalo, please avoid the area and follow guidance from law enforcement and local officials.”
I am closely monitoring the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo. We have offered assistance to local officials. If you are in Buffalo, please avoid the area and follow guidance from law enforcement and local officials.— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) May 14, 2022
“I'm on my way to Buffalo to assist with the response to today’s shooting,” her tweet continued. “My heart breaks for the victims' families and for everyone impacted by this horrific and despicable act of violence.”
Federal law enforcement officials said they are “reviewing a purported manifesto posted online in connection with the mass shooting.”