10 killed, 3 wounded in mass shooting at Buffalo supermarket
On May 14, 2022, a mass shooting occurred in Buffalo, New York, United States, at a Tops Friendly Markets supermarket in the East Side neighborhood. Ten Black people were killed and three people were injured. The shooter livestreamed part of the attack on Twitch, but the livestream was shut down by the service in under two minutes. The accused, identified as 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron, was taken into custody and charged with first-degree murder. He formally entered a plea of "not guilty" on May 19, 2022.
Gendron is reported to have written a manifesto, describing himself as an ethno-nationalist and a supporter of white supremacy who is motivated to commit acts of political violence. He voiced support for the far-right "Great Replacement" conspiracy theory in the context of a "white genocide". The attack has been described as an act of domestic terrorism, and it is also being investigated as a hate crime which was motivated by racism. Governor Kathy Hochul promised policy changes in the state as a result of the attack, while condemning the shooter.
At around 2:30 p.m. EDT (UTC−04:00), the shooter arrived at the Tops supermarket on Jefferson Avenue, in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York. He was wearing body armor and a military helmet, carrying a modified Bushmaster XM-15 rifle, and a head-mounted camera, through which he livestreamed the attack on the online service Twitch. In his car, he had a Savage Arms Axis XP hunting rifle and a Mossberg 500 shotgun. As he approached the scene, he was recorded on his livestream saying "just got to go for it". At 2:31 p.m., Buffalo police received a call reporting shots fired at the store. The first responding officers and firefighters arrived a minute later and reported bodies lying outside the building. At 2:34 p.m., a dispatcher started informing responding officers of an active shooter situation at the store.
The shooter shot four people in the parking lot, killing three. He then entered the store, shooting eight more people and killing six. According to a law enforcement source, the shooter yelled racial slurs during the incident. Many employees and customers used the store's break room to hide from the shooter and barricaded the door with a heavy desk. Other customers were hidden by employees in the milk cooler and said the shooter shot through the coolers but the milk cartons stopped the bullets. At some point, an armed security guard, former Buffalo Police Department officer Aaron Salter Jr., shot at him. Due to the shooter's body armor, Salter's bullet did not stop him. The shooter returned fire at Salter, who died at the scene. At another point, the shooter aimed his gun at a white person behind a checkout counter but apologized and did not shoot.
By 2:36 p.m., the suspect had gone to the front of the building, where patrol officers were able to talk him into dropping his gun after he reportedly aimed it at his neck. A total of sixty shots were fired during the shooting. After his arrest, the suspect made disturbing statements regarding his motive and state of mind.
Thirteen people—eleven of them Black and two White—were shot, ten fatally. One of them, 55-year-old Aaron Salter Jr., was a former Buffalo Police lieutenant who was working as a security guard when he confronted the shooter. In addition to Salter, the people fatally shot were Celestine Chaney, 65; Roberta A. Drury, 32; Andre Mackniel, 53; Katherine Massey, 72; Margus D. Morrison, 52; Heyward Patterson, 67; Geraldine Talley, 62; Ruth Whitfield, 86; and Pearl Young, 77.
Four victims were employees of the store including Salter, who died; the other three survived. All ten who died were Black.