Racist killing in New York State: at least 10 dead, killer arrested
Steph Deschamps / May 15, 2022
An 18-year-old white man opened fire Saturday in a New York State supermarket, killing at least ten people, most of them African Americans, as authorities denounced another racially motivated killing by a white supremacist.
We are investigating this incident as both a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism, said Stephen Belongia, an FBI officer in Buffalo, at a news conference in this northern U.S. city on the Lake Erie border with Canada.
The killer, who was heavily armed, was immediately arrested at the scene, prosecuted initially for premeditated murder and incarcerated.
He is a young white man who was equipped with an assault weapon, a bulletproof vest, military-style clothing, a helmet and a camera to broadcast his crime live on the Internet, local police and judicial authorities announced.
Buffalo Police Chief Joseph Gramaglia reported ten people killed and three others injured. Eleven were black people and two were white, in this predominantly African-American neighborhood of Buffalo.
According to Commissioner Gramaglia, the killer first shot four people in the parking lot of the Tops supermarket, killing three of them, before entering the business and going on a rampage.
There, a security guard, a retired police officer, shot at the assailant but the latter, protected by his bulletproof vest, was not injured and shot the guard.
When police arrived at the scene in mid-afternoon, the gunman pointed the weapon at his neck but eventually surrendered to law enforcement, according to Commissioner Gramaglia.
Hate crime in the United States refers to an act directed against a target person because of elements of their identity such as race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or disability. It is considered a federal offense with aggravating circumstances and carries harsher sentences.
When asked if the shooter faced the federal death penalty, the local U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor said that all options are on the table.
In a statement, U.S. President Joe Biden denounced the attack, saying that any act of domestic terrorism, including one perpetrated in the name of a repugnant white nationalist ideology, is contrary to everything we stand for in America.