The heavily armed man, wearing a bulletproof vest and helmet, was arrested after the killing. “We are investigating this case for both a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism,” Buffalo FBI investigator Stephen Belongia said at a news conference on Saturday (local time).
According to the police, eleven of the 13 dead and injured were African Americans. “It was clearly a racially motivated hate crime by someone from outside our community,” said Erie County Sheriff, where Buffalo is located, John Garcia. The Erie prosecutor’s office also spoke of references to “racial hatred” without giving any further details.
“I understand my charge”
District Attorney John Flynn’s office said on Twitter that the perpetrator, who was from Conklin, New York, would be charged with murder. Videos and photos showed the 18-year-old wearing a thin white shirt and a face mask sitting before Judge Craig Hannah in the Buffalo, east coast New York state court.
In court, he pleaded not guilty. According to The Buffalo News and other media outlets, when Judge Hannah asked if he understood the charges, he replied, “I understand my charges.” He was reportedly denied bail. If the 18-year-old is convicted, he faces life imprisonment with no chance of pardon, it said.
According to Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, the perpetrator “had traveled hours from out of town to commit this crime.” The crime scene is in a Buffalo neighborhood mostly populated by African Americans.
Investigation of the perpetrator’s “manifesto”.
According to US media reports, the authorities are investigating a detailed “manifesto” by the perpetrator, which is said to have been published online before the shooting and in which the man explains his intentions and his racist motives. According to a report by The Buffalo News, the perpetrator’s semi-automatic weapon also bears a racist inscription and the number 14 – a reference to white racists.
According to the Buffalo police, the 18-year-old broadcast his act of violence live on the Internet. A spokesman for the streaming service Twitch confirmed to the AFP news agency that the perpetrator broadcast his attack live on the platform. However, the transmission ended less than two minutes after the Twitch act of violence began. Among other things, it will now be monitored to ensure that other pages do not send the content again.
Security guard shot
The attacker initially shot four people in the parking lot of the Tops supermarket in Buffalo, killing three of them, according to Buffalo police officer Joseph Gramaglia. Then the 18-year-old went to the supermarket and continued to fire around. Among the dead at the store is a retired police officer who worked as a security guard there.
Although the man shot the attacker several times, he was able to return fire because he was wearing a bulletproof vest, as Gramaglia further reported. The 18-year-old turned the gun on himself when police arrived at the scene, but police said he was eventually persuaded to surrender.
A police officer described the crime scene in The Buffalo News: “It’s like walking into a horror movie, but everything is real.” The newspaper also quoted a supermarket worker who said he went into the freezer shortly before the incident had gone. “I hid myself. I just hid. I didn’t want to leave the room,” he said.
Biden informed of fact
US President Joe Biden’s spokeswoman, Karine Jean-Pierre, announced that the president had been briefed on the “horrific gun attack.” He is constantly kept up to date and prays for the victims and their families. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York tweeted, “We are with the people of Buffalo.”
The Buffalo bloody crime is one in a series of racially motivated murders in the United States. In 2019, a white right-wing extremist drove for hours across Texas and shot dead 23 people in El Paso, where a majority of Latinos live. Four years earlier, a white man opened fire at an African American church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people. In both cases, the perpetrators posted hate-filled “manifestos” on the internet before their crimes.
Racism by right-wing extremists has been perceived by many people as a growing and dangerous problem not just since the “Black Lives Matter” movement. The anti-racism organization Anti-Defamation League (ADL) sees right-wing extremism on the rise in the USA. The ADL writes that “white supremacists” assumed that whites were in danger of becoming extinct. They believed that almost all acts that would help “save” whites were justified.