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The following report contains details that some readers may find upsetting.
An 18-year-old white male has been arrested after an alleged shooting took place in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York state, on 14 May. Authorities are referring to the attack, which took place in a predominantly black neighbourhood, as racially motivated.
Court papers have named the suspect as Payton Gendron. The teenager reportedly opened fire in the supermarket whilst simultaneously streaming the attack on major livestreaming platform Twitch.
US President Joe Biden has referred to the attack as “abhorrent.” He released a statement saying, “A racially-motivated hate crime is abhorrent to the very fabric of this nation. We must do everything in our power to end hate-fuelled domestic terrorism.”
Buffalo police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia later confirmed that 13 people were shot during the attack, leaving 10 dead and three with non life-threatening injuries. Gramaglia also confirmed that the majority of victims were black.
Gendron reportedly shot four people in the supermarket’s parking lot before entering the store. The victims include a retired Buffalo police officer who was working as a security guard at the store.
According to the Associated Press, Gendron allegedly travelled 200 miles to the location, from his home in Conklin.
Speaking to reporters about the attack, Gramaglia said, “He exited his vehicle. He was very heavily armed. He had tactical gear. He had a tactical helmet on. He had a camera that he was live-streaming what he was doing.”
After surrendering his weapon in a stand-off, Gendron was taken into custody by police where he later appeared in court charged with first degree murder.
The livestream of the event was reportedly broadcast on Twitch. An account by the name of jimboboiii is believed to be Gendron’s. The account was subsequently terminated by Twitch and all listed content was removed.
A Twitch spokesperson told Kotaku, “We are devastated to hear about the shooting that took place this afternoon in Buffalo, New York. Our hearts go out to the community impacted by this tragedy. Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against violence of any kind and works swiftly to respond to all incidents. The user has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content.”
Gendron had supposedly posted an 180 page manifesto online. In the manifesto, he cited forum 4chan as allegedly inciting his views. The manifesto also reportedly detailed that Gendron’s plans were outlined in a private Discord server chat.
Discord has since commented on the allegation. According to the New York Times, Discord is investigating any posts possibly made by Gendron. They released a statement saying, “We extend our deepest sympathies to the victims and their families, and we will do everything we can to assist law enforcement in the investigation.”
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