On May 14 (local time), the United States continued to be shaken by another bloody shooting that occurred at Tops supermarket in Buffalo (New York state). The incident was carried out by an 18-year-old man, identified as Payton Gendron, from Conklin, New York, which claimed the lives of 10 people and injured three.
Regarding the shooting, authorities said that the suspect’s motive for the crime was racist. Among the shooting victims were 11 black and 2 white. A retired former Buffalo police officer was also hit.
The shooting sent people in the supermarket panicking to find a way to escape at the nearest exit or hide in the refrigerator.
The scene of a bloody shooting at a supermarket that left 10 people dead. Photo: AP
In it, Ms. Shonell Harris, manager of Tops supermarket, said that at the time of the incident, she heard about 70 gunshots. She then made her way to the back of the supermarket and saw the face of the shooting suspect. “It was like a nightmare and I knew it wasn’t just a dream,” Ms Harris said.
She added that her daughter also works at the supermarket and she was lucky to find her hiding in a safe place at the back of the store.
Another employee at Tops supermarket said he was packing milk when the shooting happened. After that, he had to hide in the refrigerator to keep himself safe. He recounted: “At that time, I only heard gunshots. Everything seemed to be collapsing outside.”
He added that there were a few people who hid in the closet with him. He shared: “At that time, I could only hide. I never left this place.”
Authorities expressed their condolences to the victims of the shooting. Photo: AP
A third witness, Veronica Hemphill-Nichols, said she was on her way to Tops supermarket to buy bread when she saw bodies lying on the ground in the parking lot. She said she was shocked to see the bodies.
Across the street, across from Tops, retired firefighter Katherine Crofton said she heard gunshots while sitting on her porch. She then saw Grendon and saw him shoot two women.
Mrs. Crofton said: “I didn’t see him at first, when I turned around I saw him shooting this woman. She had just walked into the store. And then he shot another woman. another. She was packing in the car. I quickly lay down because I didn’t know if he was going to shoot me.”
She described the tense scene as Gendron stepped out from inside the supermarket and faced the police force. She said the 18-year-old suspect “just stood there” as law enforcement officers shouted at him, “as if he wanted them to shoot him”.
After causing the bloody shooting, Gendron was arrested by the police.
The suspect in the Payton Gendron shooting. Photo: AP
According to the Gun Violence Archive – the mass shooting is being investigated as “both a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism”.
Officials said that before arriving at the supermarket, the suspect was armed with a weapon and bulletproof vest. In the parking lot, the suspect opened fire on four people, killing three and injuring one.
A security guard and former Buffalo police officer tried to stop him and opened fire on Gendron. But the bullet did not penetrate the suspect’s bulletproof vest. Accordingly, Gendron shot dead the security guard and continued to act violently inside the supermarket.
During the murder, Gendronn carried a camera and streamed the massacre live on Twitch, the streaming platform. A Twitch spokesperson said the video was removed from the site two minutes after the shooting began.
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