Buffalo, NY ( Associated Press) – A gunman wearing a rifle and body armor opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing at least 10 people before being taken into custody on Saturday afternoon, law enforcement officials told The Associated. told the press.
Details about the number of additional people shot at Top Friendly Market and their conditions were not immediately available. Both officials were not allowed to speak publicly on the matter and did so on condition of anonymity.
The official said investigators believe the man was livestreaming the shooting and were investigating whether he had posted a manifesto online. The officer cautioned that the investigation was in its early stages and officials had not yet seen a clear motive, but were investigating whether the shooting was racially motivated.
The supermarket is in a predominantly Black neighborhood, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) north of downtown Buffalo. The surrounding area is primarily residential, with a Family Dollar store and fire station near the store.
Buffalo police confirmed the shooter’s custody in a tweet, but did not identify the suspect. Police officers and a spokesperson for the supermarket chain did not immediately respond to messages from the Associated Press seeking comment.
Witnesses said the gunman was wearing military-style clothing in addition to body armor, one of the officers said.
Bradin Keffert and Shane Hill, both 20, pulled into the parking lot just as the shooters were leaving. He described him as a white male in his late teens or early twenties, showing full camo, a black helmet and a rifle.
“He was standing there with a gun to his chin. We were like what’s up? Why is this kid with a gun in his face?” Keffert said. He fell on his knees. “He tore off his helmet, dropped his gun, and the police overpowered him.”
The police closed the checkpoint standing in the queue of the spectators and the yellow police surrounded the entire parking lot. Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz were at the scene late Saturday, gathered in a parking lot across the street from the Topps store and expected to address the media.
For more than two hours after the shooting, Erica Pugh-Matthews waited outside the store behind the police tapes.
“We would like to know the status of my aunt, my mother’s sister. She was there with her fiancé, they parted ways and went in different corridors,” she said. “One bullet barely missed him. He was able to hide in a freezer but he can’t get to my aunt and doesn’t know where she is. We want words either way if she’s okay “
Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted that she was closely monitoring the shooting at a grocery store in her hometown of Buffalo. He said the state authorities have offered help to the local authorities. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office said on social media that it has ordered all available personnel to assist Buffalo Police.
Justice Department spokesman Anthony Cooley said Attorney General Merrick Garland was briefed about the shooting.
The shooting comes a year after the March 2021 attack at King Sopers Grocery in Boulder, Colorado, which killed 10 people. Investigators have not released any information about why they believe the man accused in the attack targeted the supermarket.
Associated Press journalists John Wavro in Buffalo and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report. Balsamo reported from Washington and Collins from Hartford, Connecticut.