Suspect Identified in Buffalo Mass Shooting that Killed 10 and Targeted Black People: 'Pure Evil'

Of the 13 people shot, 11 of them were Black, authorities said

The suspect in Saturday's mass shooting at a Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket that killed 10 people has been identified and arraigned on a first-degree murder charge.

A tweet by the Erie County District Attorney's Office identifies the suspect as Payton S. Gendron, 18, of Conklin, N.Y., which is about 200 miles southeast of Buffalo.

The suspect, who officials say livestreamed the attack, was remanded without bail, and a felony hearing was scheduled for Thursday, May 19 at 9:30 a.m., according to the DA's office. The New York Times reports he pleaded not guilty.

Officials described the shooting as a racially motivated attack that targeted Black people. It took place at about 2:30 p.m. at Tops Friendly Markets at 1275 Jefferson Avenue, which officials have said is a predominantly Black neighborhood.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt Rourke/AP/Shutterstock (12940819d) Police officer walks near the scene of a shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, N.Y Supermarket Shooting, Buffalo, United States - 15 May 2022
The scene outside Tops Supermarket Saturday. Matt Rourke/AP/Shutterstock

In addition to the 10 fatal victims, three people sustained injuries that are considered non-life-threatening, officials said. According to Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia, 11 of the 13 victims — including non-fatal victims — were Black, CNN reports.

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At a Saturday press conference, Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said, "It was, straight up, a racially motivated hate crime." He added: "This person was pure evil."

A police officer looks out a store window as authorities investigate a shooting at the supermarket, Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said at a Saturday afternoon press conference there were "certain pieces of evidence" he said indicated the crime was motivated by racism, but he did not elaborate on what that evidence was, reports CNN.

The gunman exited his car at about 2:30 p.m. and shot four people in the store's parking lot, three of them fatally, Gramaglia said. He then went inside the store and shot more people.

A security guard at the store, a former police officer, engaged the gunman, but the shooter was protected by his tactical gear, Gramaglia said. The shooter then fired at the security guard, killing him.

Buffalo police who responded to the scene engaged the suspect, who eventually put a gun to his own neck before officers convinced him to drop the weapon, Gramaglia said. At that point, the suspect was taken into custody.

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