BUFFALO, NY (AP) — At least 10 people were killed Saturday afternoon in a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.
Details on the number of additional people shot dead at Tops Friendly Market and their conditions were not immediately available. Buffalo police said earlier Saturday afternoon that the suspected shooter, who has not been identified, is in custody.
The two officials were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and did so on condition of anonymity.
Police officials and a spokesperson for the supermarket chain did not immediately respond to messages from the AP seeking comment.
The shooter entered the supermarket with a rifle and opened fire, one of the officials said. Investigators believe the man may have livestreamed the shooting and was investigating whether he had 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 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.
Witnesses reported that the shooter was wearing military-style clothing and bulletproof vests, 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’s going on? Why does this kid have a gun to his face?” Kephart said. He got down on one knee. “He ripped off his helmet, dropped his gun and was tackled by the police. “
Police sealed off the block, lined with onlookers, and yellow police surrounded the entire 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.
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.
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.
Associated Press reporters John Wawrow in Buffalo and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report. Balsamo reported from Washington and Collins reported from Hartford, Connecticut.
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