At least 10 people were killed after a gunman opened fire with a rifle at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, the Associated Press reported, citing law enforcement officials.
The shooting occurred at a Tops Friendly Market in a crowded western New York suburb and the suspected shooter was arrested after the attack, Buffalo police said.
Ten people were killed, two law enforcement officials told the AP. They were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and did so on condition of anonymity. Further details on the number of people shot and their conditions were not immediately available.
The shooter entered the supermarket with a rifle and opened fire, one of the officials told the AP. 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 3 miles north of downtown Buffalo. The surrounding area is mostly residential and is surrounded by homes, as well as a Family Dollar store, laundromat, and fire station.
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, said they had just pulled into the store parking lot when they saw the suspected shooter drive off. The white man, who they say was in his late teens or early 20s, was wearing camouflage clothing and a black helmet and carried 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 fell to his knees. “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.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said she was “watching closely” the shooting and had offered help to those in her hometown of Buffalo. according to his Twitter account.
Mark Poloncarz also tweeted Saturday afternoon to alert residents.
“I have been advised of an active multi-shot event at Tops Markets on Jefferson Street…Please stay clear of the area,” he tweeted.
Buffalo is New York’s second largest city, with a population of over 278,000 people.
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.
Contributor: Diana Dombrowski, Newspaper; The Associated Press.