Police siren lights lit up in red and blue.

“This was pure evil.”

Erie County Sheriff John Garcia after ten people were murdered in a shooting in Buffalo, New York.

Published on

may 15, 2022

Here are some of the basics. As with any breaking story, we expect the facts to evolve.

Who: 18-year-old Payton Gendron has been arraigned on first-degree murder charges for allegedly killing 10 people and wounding 3 others.

What: According to early reporting, Gendron targeted a supermarket on a Saturday afternoon. Police say the majority of his victims were black; Gendron is white.

Where: Buffalo, New York, about 200 miles from Gendron's last-known address.

When: Early afternoon of Saturday, May 14th.

Why: TBD on motivation. The FBI/Justice Department will investigate this as a hate crime exploring whether the crime was racially motivated. While the local police and NY governor have already called this a "hate crime," it is important to note that it is early in the investigation. The federal government can pursue a hate crime charge against an individual if the government feels "the crimes committed on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability." Not every state has a hate crime law (most do, but not all); New York does, meaning this individual could face charges or sentence enhancements on both a state and federal level.

Notable quotes: "Justice is already being done, immediately," Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said at a news conference Saturday night.

"This individual has been arraigned on murder in the first degree, which is the highest charge — murder charge in New York state. It carries with it a sentence of life without parole, the highest punishment we have a New York state. He was remanded. The judge ordered a forensic examination. A felony hearing will now take place in five days. And then the investigation continues." (via CNN)

Updates from the Associated Press and from CNN

  • A few updates as of Monday:

    Buffalo Police Commissioner confirms the alleged shooter visited Buffalo two months ago and had plans to continue the shooting beyond the supermarket. (AP/CNN)
  • The FBI confirms the alleged shooter recently made "provocative remarks about federal law enforcement" online. (AP)
  • The online manifesto referenced in many news reports describing the shooters ideology fueled by white supremacy remains frequent and consistent but unconfirmed by law enforcement on the record. (NYT, CNN, AP)

    Before his attack, the suspect is believed to have posted a lengthy, racist screed online, expressing admiration for other mass-shooting gunmen and a white supremacist ideology known as replacement theory, which imagines a nefarious scheme to “replace” white Americans — and voters — with immigrants or people of color. (NYT)

Developing: We'll continue to update as more info becomes available.

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