BUFFALO, NY – Police responded to a call of a shooting at the Tops Friendly Market in the 1200 block of Jefferson Avenue. In a tweet around 3:30pm, the Buffalo Police Department said that police found “multiple people [who] have been struck by gunfire.”
Police also said that the shooter was in custody. The suspect was described as an 18-year-old white male who was reportedly live streaming the shooting on Twitch. He apparently traveled from a different New York county “several hours” to Buffalo to carry out the crime.
A Twitch spokesperson told Fox News that the account that was streaming during the incident was “indefinitely suspended.” The spokesperson said, “We are devastated to hear about the shooting that took place this afternoon in Buffalo, New York. Our hearts go out to the community impacted by this tragedy. Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against violence of any kind and works swiftly to respond to all incidents. The user has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content.”
Twitch said the shooting was taken down from the platform within two minutes.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said that a total of 13 shot, 10 of whom have died.
Reportedly, this incident is being investigated as a “racially motivated hate crime.” Of the victims shot, 11 were black and two were white. The FBI has taken over the investigation for this case. They say the shooter may have possessed “extremist beliefs cultivated online.”
Several social media postings may be associated with the shooter which show extremist views, including praise for the South Carolina church shooter Dylan Roof and the New Zealand mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant.
The suspect was wearing “military fatigues, body armor and a tactical helmet.” Around 2:30pm, he shot four people in the parking lot of the grocery store, three of whom later died. The gunman then went inside the store and was able to shoot nine more people.
A retired Buffalo Police Officer was working security at the store. He shot the suspect, but that didn’t stop the gunman due to him wearing body armor. The guard was shot and killed, along with four other store employees.
When police arrived, the suspect threatened to shoot himself. However, he dropped his gun and surrendered instead.
The suspect has not yet been identified and will be arraigned on charges of state murder in the first degree on Saturday.
Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said at a news conference, “This was pure evil. It was a straight-up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community…coming into our community and trying to inflict evil upon us.”
A home in Conklin that was searched was said to be connected to the suspect but no details have been released on the findings at the time of this writing. However, CNN reported, “Two federal law enforcement officials told CNN that investigators are reviewing a purported manifesto posted online in connection with the Buffalo mass shooting probe.”