Tragedy struck the city of Buffalo, New York on Saturday as a man walked into Tops Friendly Market and opened fire. According to initial reports, at least 10 people were killed and at least three more were wounded.
Further reporting has also shined light into the racial aspect of the shooting. The aforementioned Tops Friendly Market is located in a “predominately Black area of town.” As a result, 11 of the shooting victims were Black. Also, many have pointed out that the firearm that was apprently used during the shooting was adorned in racial slurs. Adding on, many have uncovered the shooter’s manifesto, which includes references to the “great white replacement theory” and other white nationalist ideologies.
“This was pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said on Saturday.
“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 evil upon us.”
NBC affiliate WGRZ has identified the suspect as 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron of Conklin, New York. He has been charged with first-degree murder and remanded without bail. Moving forward, The Hill reports that this will be investigated as a hate crime.
“My prayers are with the victims of this racially motivated act of violence and my heart goes out to the victims’ loved ones, our emergency personnel and the entire Buffalo community. Racism, prejudice and hatred have no place in our state or our country,” U.S. Senator Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York tweeted.
“I pledge to the people of New York that I will continue to fight my hardest to pass commonsense gun safety measures and to confront and defeat the scourge of white supremacy.”