Ten people were killed in a racially motivated mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, by a suspect in tactical gear who was livestreaming the attack, US law enforcement officials said.
The suspect is in custody in the shooting, which occurred on Saturday afternoon (Sunday AEST) at a Tops Friendly Markets store.
Investigators are reviewing a purported manifesto posted online in connection with the mass shooting, two federal law enforcement officials told CNN.
The shooting is being investigated as a hate crime and the FBI is assisting, said Stephen Belongia, special agent in charge of the FBI Buffalo field office.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia identified the shooter as an 18-year-old White male who is not from the Buffalo area but “from hours away.”
Officials have so far not named him.
The suspect drove to Buffalo to the Tops market heavily armed, wearing tactical gear, and had a camera where he was livestreaming what he was doing, Gramaglia said.
He shot four people in the parking lot of the market, Gramaglia said.
Three of those individuals died and one survived, Gramaglia added.
He will be arraigned on charge of murder in first degree, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said.
The killing spree in Buffalo is yet another entry to America’s growing list of hate-fuelled mass shootings.
Twitch, the popular live-streaming platform best known for gaming, confirmed that the Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect used its platform to stream a live broadcast during the attack.
“We are devastated to hear about the shooting that took place this afternoon in Buffalo, New York,” the company said.
“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.”
Twitch said that the user “has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content”.
‘This is our worst update’
The suspect walked into the market and began shooting at customers in the store, Gramaglia said.
A supermarket security guard, a retired Buffalo Police officer, “fired multiple shots at the suspect,” but the suspect’s tactical gear protected him from the officer’s shots, Gramaglia said.
The suspect fatally shot the security officer and continued going through the supermarket, working toward the front of the store, where he encountered Buffalo police officers.
The suspect put his gun to his own neck, at which point two Buffalo officers talked him into dropping his gun and then took off some of his tactical gear and surrendered to police, officials said.
Police arrested the suspect and transported him to Buffalo police headquarters.
“This is the worst nightmare that any community can face, and we are hurting and we are seething right now as a community,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said.
“The depth of pain that families are feeling and that all of us are feeling right now cannot even be explained.”
The supermarket is in a predominately Black neighbourhood, about 5km north of downtown Buffalo.
The surrounding area is primarily residential, with a Family Dollar store and fire station near the store.
Braedyn Kephart and Shane Hill, both 20, pulled into the parking lot just as the shooter was exiting.
They described him as a white male in his late teens or early twenties sporting full camo, a black helmet and what appeared to be 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 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.