10 dead in mass shooting at Buffalo supermarket

By Aditi Sangal and Joe Ruiz, CNN

Updated 8:16 a.m. ET, May 16, 2022
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11:34 a.m. ET, May 15, 2022

President Biden says he doesn't know if he will go to Buffalo ahead of Asia trip

From CNN's Jasmine Wright 

President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Delaware, on May 15.
President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Delaware, on May 15. (Stefani Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden said he was unsure whether he would visit Buffalo, New York, before he leaves for his trip abroad to Asia later this week.

“We’re going to work that out now,” Biden said while climbing the steps of Air Force One in Wilmington, Delaware, ahead of his flight back to DC on Sunday.

As his audio was partially overshadowed by plane noise, he repeated that he was “trying to work out the schedule."

"I don’t know that I’m going to be able to go to Buffalo,” he said, and added he was trying to figure it out.

He later told reporters at Joint Base Andrews that he had "not yet" spoken with the families of the 10 people who were killed.

CNN's Betsy Klein contributed to this report.

10:42 a.m. ET, May 15, 2022

Buffalo mass shooting suspect "was scouting the supermarket" and targeted its specific zip code, authorities say

From CNN's Polo Sandoval and Sarah Jorgensen

People pay their respects outside the scene of a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, Sunday, May 15.
People pay their respects outside the scene of a shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, Sunday, May 15. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Buffalo mass shooting suspect Payton Gendron surveilled both the community and the grocery store as part of the planning of his attack, Mayor Byron Brown told CNN.

"It sounds like he was here for maybe several days from reports that I’ve been hearing and that he did surveil this community, was scouting the supermarket, actually talked to some people in the area," Brown told CNN.

Investigators believe the suspect researched the area and "targeted the busiest place at one of the busiest times," Gov. Hochul also told CNN.

"This was targeted by zip code," Hochul said. "This was the highest concentration of African-Americans within hours." 

That account matches a line from an apparent manifesto posted online, where an author claiming to be Gendron says, "Zip code 14208 in Buffalo has the highest black percentage that is close enough to where I live." 

Some background: The zip code that includes the store, 14208, is 78% Black, according to the Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. It is among the top 2% of zip codes nationwide with the highest percentage of Black population and has the highest percentage of Black population of any zip code in upstate New York. In comparison, 13748, the zip code that includes Gendron's hometown, Conklin, is 89% White and 0.4% Black.

CNN’s Casey Tolan contributed to this report.

10:18 a.m. ET, May 15, 2022

Buffalo mass shooting suspect "was under surveillance" by medical authorities, New York governor says

From CNN's Samantha Beech

Tops supermarket is located in the heart of Buffalo's Black community where a mass shooting took place on Saturday, May 14.
Tops supermarket is located in the heart of Buffalo's Black community where a mass shooting took place on Saturday, May 14. (Matt Rourke/AP)

The suspect in the Buffalo mass shooting was being monitored by “medical authorities” ahead of Saturday’s attack where 10 people were killed, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

Asked if the suspect was on law enforcement's radar, Hochul said, “Just as a high school student with respect to something he wrote in high school and was under surveillance at the time with medical authorities.”

“But I’m going to be investigating that very question. I want to know what people knew, and when they knew it, and calling upon our law enforcement as well as our social media platforms," she added.

On Saturday, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the suspect drove to the Buffalo Tops market heavily armed, wearing tactical gear, and had a camera where he was livestreaming what he was doing.

Investigators are reviewing a purported manifesto posted online in connection with the mass shooting, two federal law enforcement officials told CNN.

10:11 a.m. ET, May 15, 2022

Here's how witnesses describe the scene at the Buffalo supermarket where a mass shooter killed 10

From CNN's Travis Caldwell

People gather outside the supermarket where several people were shot on Saturday, May 14, in Buffalo, New York.
People gather outside the supermarket where several people were shot on Saturday, May 14, in Buffalo, New York. (Joshua Bessex/AP)

Shoppers in and around a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, describe hiding behind cars, calling out for help as a gunman killed 10 people and wounded three others in a mass shooting authorities believe was racially motivated.

Grady Lewis said he was outside the supermarket when he heard seven or eight gunshots, and described seeing a White man "fully prepared, ready to go," dressed in tactical gear spraying gunfire at the entry of the store, which is located in the heart of the city's Black community.

Law enforcement arrived within two minutes after the shooting began, Lewis told CNN affiliate WKBW. He "heard at least 20 or so shots" before the suspect exited the store.

"He came out, he put the gun to his head, to his chin. Then he dropped it and took off his bulletproof vest, then got on his hands and knees and put his hands behind his back," Lewis said, describing the moments the suspect was arrested by police. "I thought they were going to shoot him but they didn't shoot him."

"I still don't even believe it happened ... that a person would go into a supermarket full of people," he said. "It was horrible, it was really horrible."

One woman told WKBW she received a distressing phone call from her "scared, hysterical" 19-year-old granddaughter who was at the supermarket and heard gunshots. The woman raced to the scene and found her granddaughter outside the store.

"I can't even explain it, how grateful I am to God that she's ok because she could have been one of the other people," she told WKBW.

Read the full report here.

2:13 p.m. ET, May 15, 2022

This is what we know about the Buffalo mass shooting suspect

From CNN's Shimon Prokupecz, Artemis Moshtaghian and Christina Maxouris

Police secure the scene of a shooting at Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, on May 15.
Police secure the scene of a shooting at Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, on May 15. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old man who allegedly shot and killed 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket Saturday afternoon, was motivated by hate, authorities said. He was charged with first degree murder Saturday, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said in a news release, and has pleaded not guilty.

Here's what we know about the shooting suspect:

Investigators were reviewing a 180-page purported manifesto that was posted online in connection with the shooting probe, two federal law enforcement sources told CNN on Saturday.

The manifesto, independently obtained by CNN shortly after the attack and before authorities released the suspect's name, is allegedly written by a person claiming to be Payton Gendron confessing to the attack.

The manifesto's author says he bought ammo for some time but didn't get serious about planning the attack until January. The author also goes on about his perceptions of the dwindling size of the White population and claims of ethnic and cultural replacement of Whites.

A portion of the document is written in question-and-answer form.

The manifesto's author attributes the internet for most of his beliefs and describes himself as a fascist, a White supremacist and an anti-Semite.

Authorities say when the suspect arrived at the store around 2:30 p.m., he was heavily armed, wearing tactical gear, a helmet and had a camera that was livestreaming his actions.

Payton Gendron talks with his attorney during his arraignment in Buffalo City Court, on Saturday, May 14.
Payton Gendron talks with his attorney during his arraignment in Buffalo City Court, on Saturday, May 14. (Mark Mulville/The Buffalo News/AP)

The suspect used an assault weapon, Flynn said during the news conference.

The popular livestreaming platform Twitch confirmed Saturday that the shooting suspect used its platform to stream a live broadcast during the attack.

Gendron was arraigned Saturday evening before Buffalo City Court Chief Judge Craig Hannah on one count of first-degree murder, the district attorney's news release said.

He pleaded not guilty, Hannah told CNN. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole, the release said.

Gendron is set to return to court on the morning of May 19 for a felony hearing, the release said. He will remain in custody without bail, it added.

CNN's Sharif Paget, Sabrina Shulman and Brian Stelter contributed to this report.

9:45 a.m. ET, May 15, 2022

The gun used in the Buffalo mass shooting was purchased legally in New York, governor says

From CNN’s Sarah Jorgensen in Buffalo and Samantha Beech in New York

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks with CNN on Sunday.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks with CNN on Sunday. (CNN)

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said the gun used in the Buffalo mass shooting where 10 people were killed on Saturday was purchased legally in New York state.

The weapon used was an AR-15 and it’s believed that the high-capacity magazine used was purchased outside of New York, she told CNN.

“The gun was purchased in a gun store in New York state legally, an AR-15. But what has made this so lethal, and so devastating for this community, was the high-capacity magazine that would have had to have been purchased elsewhere, that’s not legal in the state of New York," she said. “We don’t know whether it was purchased in Pennsylvania, but literally the Pennsylvania border is minutes away, and there already is the flow of guns and illegal capacity magazines coming from gun shows purchased legally and they end up in someone’s trunk, they bring them up I-81, they head into New York state, head over to the Bronx, head over to Brooklyn, head over to the city, or they go to places like New York, Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, so that’s how it’s spreading.”

Hochul also called for stronger controls on social media and gun control. She said the suspected gunman’s manifesto advocating hate speech and how it spread online was “fundamentally disturbing.”

“Well, this manifesto tells everything to us. And that is what’s so bone chilling about it is that there is the ability for people to write and subscribe to such philosophies filled with hate,” Hochul said. “The White supremacist acts of terrorism that are being fermented on social media and to know that what this one individual did has been shared with the rest of the world as well as the livestreaming of this military-style execution that occurred in the streets of my hometown.”

She called on the CEOs of all the social media platforms to examine their policies.

She said she wants them "to look me in the eye and tell me that everything is being done that they can to make sure that this information is not spread. They have to be able to identify when information like this, the second it hits the platform, it needs to be taken down. Because this is spreading like wildfire.”

“These theories that result in the radicalization of a young person sitting in their house is deeply scary and it’s something that has to be dealt with,” she added.  

9:56 a.m. ET, May 15, 2022

Here's how the shooting unfolded at the supermarket in Buffalo, New York

From CNN's Travis Caldwell

Police secure the area around Tops supermarket after the shooting on May 14, in Buffalo, New York.
Police secure the area around Tops supermarket after the shooting on May 14, in Buffalo, New York. (Mark Mulville/The Buffalo News/AP)

Ten people were killed in a racially motivated mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo on Saturday. The suspect, Payton S. Gendron, an 18-year-old White man, was charged with first-degree murder, prosecutors said. He pleaded not guilty in court Saturday night, Buffalo City Court Chief Judge Craig Hannah told CNN.

Here's what we know about how the mass shooting unfolded.

At around 2:30 p.m., authorities allege the suspect — who hails from the town of Conklin, a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Buffalo in Western New York — drove to Tops Friendly Markets near the areas of Masten Park and Kingsley, which are predominantly Black neighborhoods.

Wearing tactical gear and armed with "an assault weapon," the suspect allegedly shot and killed three people in the parking lot and wounded a fourth, according to a statement from Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn.

The suspect then entered the store and exchanged gunfire with an armed security guard, who was a retired member of the Buffalo Police Department, the statement said.

Because the suspect wore heavy tactical gear, however, the guard's bullets did not have any effect, Gramaglia said Saturday.

"He was very heavily armed," the police commissioner said. "He had tactical gear, he had a tactical helmet on, he had a camera that he was livestreaming what he was doing."

Inside the store, nine people were shot before the suspect was apprehended by police, with the guard and six others dying from their wounds, according to the district attorney's statement.

In a statement sent to CNN, livestreaming service Twitch confirmed the shooting was streamed and said the user "has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content."

CNN obtained a portion of the livestream that showed the suspect arriving at the supermarket in his vehicle and is not airing the video.

9:06 a.m. ET, May 15, 2022

Buffalo mayor: "These mass shootings have to end"

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown speaks with CNN on Sunday, May 15.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown speaks with CNN on Sunday, May 15. (CNN)

The Mayor of Buffalo, New York, Byron Brown called for "sensible gun control" following the deadly mass shooting Saturday at a supermarket in his town.

"The message to this country is these mass shootings have to end," he told CNN. "There has to be sensible gun control, and we cannot have another incident like this in America where lawmakers in Washington fail to act."

Brown also went on to say that social media platforms needed to regulate hate speech online.

8:22 a.m. ET, May 15, 2022

Former Buffalo fire commissioner's mother is among people killed in supermarket shooting

From CNN's Polo Sandoval in Buffalo

Ruth Whitfield, the mother of retired Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield, has been identified as one of 10 people killed during Saturday's mass supermarket shooting, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown tells CNN.

Brown said that Ruth Whitfield had just gone to visit her husband in a nursing home and stopped to pick up a few items at the supermarket when she was shot and killed. 

Ten people were killed and three others were injured during the shooting, authorities have said.