“This was pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John C. Garcia said at a news conference on Saturday, calling the shooting a “direct racially motivated hate crime by someone outside our community.”
The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the shooting “as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism,” said a statement by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
He pleaded not guilty.
Here’s what we know about the shooting.
He was wearing tactical clothes
Authorities say when the suspect arrived at the store around 2:30 p.m., he was heavily armed, wearing tactical gear, a helmet and a camera that was live-streaming his actions.
The suspect used an assault weapon, Flynn said during the press conference.
In his press release, Flynn said the suspect shot and killed four people outside the grocery store, three of them fatally. When he entered the store, he exchanged fire with an armed guard, who authorities said was a retired Buffalo police officer. The guard died of his injuries. The suspect shot eight more people in the store, six of whom died, the release said.
He would be livestreaming on Twitch
Popular live streaming platform Twitch confirmed on Saturday that the shooting used its platform to stream a live broadcast during the attack.
The company said it was “stunned” to hear about the shooting, adding that the user has been “indefinitely suspended from our service and that we are taking all appropriate measures, including monitoring accounts rebroadcasting this content.” “
CNN secured a portion of the live stream showing the alleged gunman driving into a Tops store.
The video was shot from the point of view of the alleged gunman as he pulls into the supermarket parking lot. The person is seen in the rear-view mirror wearing a helmet and saying, “I just have to go for it,” before heading to the front of the store.
The video shows shoppers walking through the parking lot as the suspect pulls up.
A Twitch spokesperson said the company removed the live stream less than two minutes after the violence began. The company did not immediately respond to follow-up questions about whether the suspect was actively firing when the live stream was stopped.
Alleged manifesto speaks of ‘declining size’ of white population
Investigators viewed a supposed 180-page manifesto posted online in connection with the shooting on Saturday, two federal law enforcement sources told CNN.
The manifesto, obtained independently by CNN shortly after the attack and before authorities released the suspect’s name, is said to have been written by a person claiming to be Payton Gendron who confessed to the attack.
The manifesto’s author says he bought ammunition for some time, but only got serious about planning the attack in January. The author also expands on his perception of the declining size of the white population and claims of ethnic and cultural replacement of whites.
Part of the document is written in question-and-answer form.
The manifesto’s author credits the Internet for most of his beliefs, describing himself as a fascist, white supremacist, and anti-Semite.
He will probably face more charges
Gendron was arraigned Saturday night before Buffalo City Court chief justice Craig Hannah on charges of first degree murder, the prosecutor’s press release said.
He pleaded not guilty, Hannah told CNN. If convicted, he faces a maximum jail term of life without parole, the release said.
And more charges could follow, officials said.
“My office is working closely with the US Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners on potential terrorism and hate crimes. This is an active investigation and additional charges may be filed,” Flynn said in a statement.
Gendron will return to court on the morning of May 19 for a crime hearing, the release said. He will remain in custody without bail, it added.
Sharif Paget, Sabrina Shulman and Brian Stelter of CNN contributed to this report.