Gunman in Body Armor Kills 10 in Supermarket

FBI investigates attack as a hate crime
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2022 5:30 PM CDT
Gunman Opens Fire in Supermarket, Killing 10
People gather outside a supermarket where a gunman opened fire Saturday in Buffalo, N.Y.   (Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP)

(Newser) – A gunman wearing body armor and a military helmet opened fire with a high-powered rifle at a packed Buffalo supermarket on Saturday, killing 10 people and wounding three others. Police took a man into custody, the Buffalo News reports. He was not identified. "It's like walking onto a horror movie, but everything is real. It is Armageddon-like," said a police official at the Tops supermarket. "It is so overwhelming." Several bodies were found in the parking lot. "Bullets and blood are everywhere," the police official said.

Witnesses said the gunman is white, and the store is in a predominately Black suburban neighborhood of the city in western New York. A US attorney said the FBI is investigating the attack as a hate crime, per the AP. The gunman had a camera, and police said he might have livestreamed his attack. A store manager said she thought she heard 70 gunshots. Shonnell Harris said she ran toward an exit in the back, falling several times on the way. The gunman was wearing camouflage, she said: "He looked like he was in the Army." One of the people killed was a retired city police officer who was working as a security guard and exchanged gunfire with the attacker.

Witnesses said it looked as if the gunman was going to kill himself when he stopped shooting. Braedyn Kephart and Shane Hill said they saw the gunman leaving the store as they drove into the parking lot, per USA Today. "He was standing there with the gun to his chin," Kephart said, per the AP. The attacker then fell to his knees, they said: "He ripped off his helmet, dropped his gun, and was tackled by the police." Veronica Hemphill-Nichols was walking to Tops for a loaf of bread when she saw two victims in the parking lot. "When I saw those bodies, I just broke," she said. A crowd formed outside the store quickly, with people searching for family members. Hemphill-Nichols said she saw a woman asking, "Where is my daughter?" (Read more mass shootings stories.)

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