An armed man with a rifle and body armor opened fire in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing at least 10 people before being taken into custody on Saturday afternoon, police told the Associated Press.
Details of the number of additional people shot at Tops Friendly Market and their terms were not immediately available. The two officials were not allowed to speak publicly on the matter and did so on condition that they were anonymous.
Investigators believe the man may have livestreamed the shooting and investigated whether he had posted a manifesto online, the official said.
The official warned that the investigation was in its preliminary stage and that the authorities had not yet seen any clear motive, but investigated whether the shooting was racistly motivated.
The supermarket is located in a predominantly black neighborhood, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) north of downtown Buffalo. The surrounding area is primarily residential, with a Family Dollar store and fire station near the store.
Buffalo police confirmed that the shooter was detained in a tweet, but did not identify the suspect. Police officers and a spokesman for the supermarket chain did not immediately respond to messages from the AP asking for comments.
Witnesses reported that the armed man was wearing military-style clothing in addition to his body armor, one of the officials said.
Braedyn Kephart and Shane Hill, both 20, pulled into the parking lot just as the shooter exited. They described him as a white man in his late teens or early twenties with a full camo, a black helmet and what looked like a rifle.
“He was standing there with the gun to his chin. We thought, what the hell is going on? Why does this boy have a gun to his face?” in Kephart. He fell to his knees. “He tore off his helmet, dropped his gun and was attacked by police.”
Police cordoned off the block, lined with spectators, and yellow police taped the entire parking lot. Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz were on site late Saturday afternoon, gathered in a parking lot across the street from the Tops store and expected to speak to the media.
More than two hours after the shooting, Erica Pugh-Mathews was waiting outside the store, behind the police tape.
“We would like to know the status of my aunt, my mother’s sister. She was in there with her fiancé, they parted and went to different aisles, “she said.” A bullet barely missed him. He could hide in a freezer but he could not get to my aunt and does not know where she is. We would just like a message in both directions if she’s okay. ”
Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted that she “closely monitored the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo,” her hometown. She said government officials have offered help to local authorities. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office said on social media that they were ordering all available personnel to assist the Buffalo Police.
Attorney General Merrick Garland was briefed on the shooting, Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said.
The shooting occurred just over a year after an attack in March 2021 on a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, which killed 10 people. Investigators have not released any information as to why they believe the man accused in the attack targeted the supermarket.