A gunman wearing a rifle and body armor opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing at least 10 people before being arrested on Saturday afternoon, officials said. Law Enforcement at The Associated Press.
Details on the number of additional people shot at Tops Friendly Market and their conditions were not immediately available. The two officials were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and did so on condition of anonymity.
Investigators believe the suspect may have livestreamed the shooting and was investigating whether he posted a manifesto online, the official said. The official warned that the investigation was still in its early stages and that authorities had not yet discerned a clear motive, but were investigating whether the shooting was racially motivated.
The supermarket is located in a predominantly black neighborhood about three miles north of downtown Buffalo. The surrounding area is mostly residential, with a Family Dollar store and a fire station near the store.
Buffalo police confirmed the shooter was in custody in a tweet, but did not identify the suspect. Police officials and a spokesperson for the supermarket chain did not immediately respond to messages from the AP seeking comment.
Witnesses reported the shooter was wearing military-style clothing and a bulletproof vest, one of the officials said.
Braedyn Kephart and Shane Hill, both 20, pulled into the parking lot just as the shooter exited. They described him as a white male in his late teens or early twenties wearing full camouflage, a black helmet, and what appeared to be a rifle.
“He was standing there with the gun to his chin. We were like what was going on? Why does this kid have a gun to his face?” Kephart said. He fell to his knees. “He ripped off his helmet, dropped his gun and was tackled by the police.”
Police sealed off the block, lined with onlookers, and a yellow police tape surrounded the full parking lot. Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz were at the scene late Saturday afternoon, gathered in a parking lot across from the Tops store and were scheduled to address the media.
BREAKING: BPD at the scene of a mass shooting at the Tops in the 1200 block of Jefferson Avenue. According to the police, several people were hit by gunfire. The shooter is in custody. Motorists and residents are asked to avoid the area.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted that she was “closely monitoring the grocery store shooting in Buffalo,” her hometown. She said state officials have offered assistance to local authorities. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office said on social media that it has ordered all available personnel to assist Buffalo police.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has been briefed on the shooting, Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said.
The shooting came just over a year after a March 2021 attack on a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado that killed 10 people. Investigators have not released any information on why they believe the man accused of the attack targeted the supermarket.