At least 10 dead in mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, supermarket in suspected hate crime OCN News

At least 10 people have died and three others injured after a mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, which authorities said was a “racially motivated hate crime”.

An 18-year-old white suspect is in custody, police said. The shooter broadcast the attack live on social media, authorities said.

The shooter, dressed in military fatigues, body armor and a tactical helmet, shot dead four people in the parking lot of a Tops supermarket around 2.30pm, three of them fatally. He went inside the store where he was confronted by a retired Buffalo police officer working security, police said.

The guard shot and punched the suspect, but to no effect because of the body armor, police said.

The shooter then shot nine other people inside the store, police said. He threatened to kill himself before dropping his gun and turning himself in to police, authorities said.

Of the 13 victims shot, 11 were African American and two were white, authorities said.

Four of the shooting victims were store employees, while the others were customers, authorities said. The Buffalo police officer who worked security was among those killed, according to a law enforcement official.

Three victims suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds, authorities said.

The scene is no longer active and there are no other outstanding suspects, a law enforcement official said.

The suspect, who has not been identified, will initially be charged with murder by the state and arraigned later Saturday, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said at a Saturday night press briefing. . The suspect traveled from a New York county several hours away to the store in Buffalo, authorities said.

“This is the worst nightmare a community can face,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said during the briefing.

The FBI is investigating the attack as a racially motivated hate crime and violent extremism.

Early indications the shooter may have held extremist beliefs cultivated online, law enforcement sources told ABC News.

Investigators are looking at several online posts that may be associated with the shooter, including praise for South Carolina church shooter Dylan Roof and New Zealand mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant, the sources say.

“It was pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John Garcia told reporters. “This was a racially motivated hate crime committed by someone outside our community…entering our community and trying to inflict harm on us.”

Flynn said there is evidence that “points to some racial animosity,” but would not elaborate further at this stage of the investigation.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said on Twitter she is “closely monitoring” the shooting and that her office has offered assistance to local authorities.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz also tweeted on Saturday afternoon that he had been “notified of an active multi-shot event” at the supermarket.

“A horrible day in the history of our community,” Poloncarz said in a statement. “Like too many communities in our country, we have been touched by the horror [of] a mass shooting. My thoughts are with the deceased and their families at this terrible time.”

President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting, his press secretary said.

“He will continue to receive updates throughout the evening and tomorrow as new information develops,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. . “The President and First Lady are praying for those who have been lost and for their loved ones.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland was also briefed on the shooting, a source said.

“While we should all be saddened, we shouldn’t be surprised,” said John Cohen, former acting head of Homeland Security intelligence and analysis and ABC News contributor. “DHS and the FBI have repeatedly warned that the primary terrorist threat facing the United States comes from lone offenders carrying out mass attacks inspired by extremist beliefs they cultivate by consuming content online.”

Tops Friendly Markets said in a statement it was “shocked and saddened” by the shooting and offered its condolences to the victims and their families.

“We appreciate the prompt response from local law enforcement and are providing all available resources to assist authorities with the ongoing investigation,” the Amherst, New York-based supermarket chain said.

ABC News’ Matt Foster and Luke Barr contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Please check for updates.

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