By: April Carson
On Saturday, a white gunman in military clothing invaded a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 Black people and injuring two others. The incident was being investigated as a hate crime by authorities.
WHAT HAPPENED ON MAY 14TH?
An armed white 18-year-old with body armor and a helmet camera began shooting at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday outside Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, which is a predominantly Black neighborhood.
Twitch, which broadcast the shooting to a tiny audience, said it deleted the video from its platform in less than two minutes. The video shows the gunman calmly walking into the store and opening fire.
Customers and employees can be seen running for their lives. Witnesses said the shooting lasted about 30 seconds.
In a press conference on Sunday, Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo said that the shooting appeared to be premeditated and that the suspect had "legally purchased" the gun he used.
According to authorities, the shooter began firing in the parking lot. Inside, he fought with a security guard before walking down the aisles and shooting customers.
He trained his weapon on a white person cowering behind a checkout counter, but he says "Sorry!" and does not fire, as seen in the livestream video circulating online.
When cops confronted the gunman in the vestibule of the store, he put his rifle to his own neck but gave up and dropped it after being encouraged by the cops.
WHO IS THE SUSPECTED SHOOTER?
Payton Gendron, of Conklin, New York, has been identified as the shooter. Conklin is a little town about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Buffalo with a population of roughly 1,200 people.
The gun Gendron used in the attack was purchased legally, according to authorities, but the ammunition magazines he utilized were not legal in New York.
Gendron was arrested and charged with murder after the shooting. He appeared in court in a paper medical gown following his arraignment on a murder charge. He has denied the charges.
A document circulated widely on the internet appears to characterize Gendron's racist, anti-immigrant, and antisemitic views. Among them was a desire to exile everyone who is not of European descent from the United States. The text appeared to be influenced by the gunman who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, 3 years ago.
In a compilation of messages by a writer who called himself Gendron, the accused killer wrote in greater detail about his intentions to murder dozens of Black people over the previous five months, according with New York Police Department records.
Gendron, according to the FBI, had researched local demographics and conducted reconnaissance as part of his efforts to target Black people.
According to the document, Gendron considered murdering more people following the supermarket, including those on the street and maybe another business.
Gendron was arrested on felony weapons charges and misdemeanor terroristic threats. According to authorities, he made a "widely disseminated" threat at Susquehanna Valley High School last June that prompted state troopers to arrive. He was 17 years old at the time and was examined for mental illness at a hospital.
WHO ARE THE VICTIMS?
The 13 people, including the ones who were wounded, ranged in age from 20 to 86 years old.
Aaron Salter, a retired Buffalo police officer who worked as a security guard at the business, was one of the 10 slain. He fired several shots at the attacker, hitting his body armor at least once, but the bullet did not penetrate him. Officials hailed him a hero for running toward danger to save lives. A local resident said he cared about his neighborhood and looked after the store.
Ruth Whitfield, 86, was out picking up groceries after dropping off her husband at a care facility as she always did. She was Garnell Whitfield's mother and the matriarch of the family that The Buffalo News called "a mother to the motherless" and "a blessing to all of us." His mother's strength and devotion to family were attributed to her religious beliefs, according to Garnell Whitfield, who added that she was “a blessing to all of us.”
“She was a beautiful soul,” Barbara Massey, 72, said of her sister Katherine Massey, who was murdered while shopping.
67-year-old Hermitage Senior Pastor Whitehead, who was known for providing free rides home to the elderly and shut-ins, was one of the victims. He had served as a deacon at a neighboring church. Before going to the grocery store, he stopped by the community center where he assisted in preparing meals for those in need.
Roberta A. Drury, 32; Margus D. Morrison, 52; Andre Mackneil, 53; Geraldine Talley, 62; Celestine Chaney, 65; and Pearl Young, 77 were also killed in the incident. Zaire Goodman, 20; Jennifer Warrington, 50; and Christopher Braden 55 were among the wounded.
On Sunday, hundreds of people gathered for a vigil and march in a tight-knit community that had been shattered by tragedy, sadness, and fury.
Residents and community organizations rallied to assist one another by giving food and other resources after the attack closed the neighborhood's only grocery store.
"This is the Tops community," resident Glen Marshall said. "This is the center of the Black community; this is where it all begins." “If we don't live in this neighborhood, we grew up here,” he added. “Everyone returns to the village.”
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE SHOOTER'S RIFLE?
According to the store's owner, Gendron purchased the AR-15-style rifle used in the attack at a location in Endicott, New York within the previous few months.
According to Robert Donald, the owner of Vintage Firearms, he has records of the transaction but can't recall selling the rifle to Gendron. On the day he acquired the weapon, Gendron passed an immediate background check, according to federal agents. The rifle he sold Gendron was a "Stag Arms Model 8," an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle, Donald told reporters. It's unclear whether Gendron made any modifications to the weapon.
“Who would do this?” Donald asked. “This is the first time I've ever had a problem,” he said on ABC News.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Gendron is expected to be arraigned on Thursday afternoon. The investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
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