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 happened at a Tops Friendly Market in a crowded suburban area in the western New York city and the alleged gunman was taken into custody after the attack, Buffalo police said.
Ten people were killed, two law enforcement officials told the AP. They were not permitted to speak publicly on the matter and did so on the condition of anonymity. Further details on the number of people shot and their conditions weren’t immediately available.
The gunman entered the supermarket with a rifle and opened fire, one of the officials told the AP. Investigators believe the man may have been livestreaming the shooting and were looking into whether he had posted a manifesto online, the official said.
The official cautioned the investigation was in its preliminary stages and that authorities hadn’t yet discerned a clear motive, but they were investigating whether the shooting was racially motivated.
The supermarket is in a predominately Black neighborhood, about 3 miles north of downtown Buffalo. The surrounding area is primarily residential and is surrounded by homes, along with a Family Dollar store, laundromat and fire station.
Witnesses reported the gunman was wearing military-style clothing and body armor, one of the officials said.
Braedyn Kephart and Shane Hill, both 20, said they’d just pulled into the parking lot of the store when they saw the alleged gunman leaving. The white male, who they estimate was in his late teens or early 20s, was wearing camo clothing and a black helmet and was carrying a rifle.
“He was standing there with the gun to his chin. We were like what the heck is going on? Why does this kid have a gun to his face?” Kephart said. He dropped to his knees. “He ripped off his helmet, dropped his gun, and was tackled by the police.”
Police closed off the block, lined by spectators, and yellow police taped surrounded the full parking lot. Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz were at the scene late Saturday afternoon, gathered in a parking lot across the street from the Tops store and expected to address the media.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said she is “closely monitoring” the shooting and that she has offered assistance to those in Buffalo, her hometown, according to her Twitter account.
Mark Poloncarz also tweeted Saturday afternoon alerting residents.
“I have been advised of an active multiple shooting event at the Tops Markets on Jefferson Street… Please stay away from the area,” he tweeted.
Buffalo is New York’s second-largest city, with a population of more than 278,000 people.
The shooting came little more than a year after a March 2021 attack at a King Soopers grocery in Boulder, Colorado, that killed 10 people.
Contributing: Diana Dombrowski, Journal News; The Associated Press.