Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the supermarket shooting suspect was wearing tactical gear and livestreaming as he entered the store.
"At approximately 2:30 today, an individual who the mayor stated is not from this area and is from hours away, drove to Buffalo and went to ... the Tops market. 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 livestreaming what he was doing,"
The suspect is an 18-year-old White male, he said.
He shot four people in the parking lot, Gramaglia said, three of whom died.
The suspect went inside the store, where a security guard and former Buffalo police officer engaged him.
"Because he had heavily armored plating on, the bullet had no round. The suspect engaged our retired officer and he was shot and deceased at the scene. He continued to work his way through the store," Gramaglia said.
He made his way back to the front of the store, where patrol officers were able to talk him into dropping his gun after he "put the gun to his own neck."
Police arrested the suspect and transported him to Buffalo Police Headquarters.
Stephen Belongia, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Buffalo Field Office, said the FBI is assisting in the investigation as well during a news conference.
Erie County Sheriff John Garcia called the shooting "pure evil" during the news conference."It was straight-up, racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community, outside of the city of good neighbors as the mayor said, coming into our community and trying to inflict that evil upon us," Garcia said.
Out of the 13 victims, 11 are Black while two are White, according to Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.
Officials said the gunman broadcast the attack live on Twitch, the live-streaming site owned by Amazon that is popular with gamers. Twitch said it had taken the channel offline. The channel’s page said only that it was “currently unavailable due to a violation of Twitch’s community guidelines or terms of service.” In a statement, a Twitch spokeswoman said the site “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.”
The Fox News host has repeatedly fear-mongered about Democrats allegedly bringing in dark-skinned immigrants with the express purpose of “replacing” the American (read: white) electorate. On Wednesday night, he declared that the Biden administration is intentionally trying “to change the racial mix of the country” through immigration.
“In political terms, this policy is called ‘the great replacement,’ the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from far-away countries,” Carlson exclaimed. “They brag about it all the time, but if you dare to say it's happening they will scream at you with maximum hysteria.”
The so-called “Great Replacement” theory is a white-supremacist belief in a conspiracy among liberals and wealthy elites to demographically and culturally replace the white population of majority-white countries with immigrants of non-European descent. In recent years, the theory has served as the inspiration for racist mass killings in El Paso, Pittsburgh and Christchurch, New Zealand.
Yet, despite its overtly racist and antisemitic roots, the conspiracy theory—thanks in large part to Carlson’s embrace of it—has become more acceptable and normalized within the Republican Party, with numerous GOP lawmakers and officials openly citing it.
On Thursday, in response to Carlson’s latest segment, ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt renewed his calls for Fox News to dump its biggest star.
“It cannot be overstated enough,” Greenblatt said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “For Tucker Carlson, host of one of the most-watched news programs in the country, to use his platform as a megaphone to spread the toxic, antisemitic, and xenophobic ‘great replacement theory’ is a repugnant and dangerous abuse of his platform.”
Greenblatt added: “If it somehow wasn’t clear enough before to the executives at Fox News that Carlson was openly embracing white nationalist talking points, let last night’s episode be case and point. We reiterate our call to Fox News and Lachlan Murdoch: Tucker Carlson must go.”
That was April 2021 and again in September.
Last December, the Associated Press and NORC conducted a large national poll examining conspiratorial ideas including this one. They found that nearly half of Republicans agree to at least some extent with the idea that there’s a deliberate intent to “replace” native-born Americans with immigrants.
The AP-NORC poll included several other questions related to the idea. They asked whether respondents were concerned about native-born Americans losing economic, political and cultural influence as the number of immigrants increased and whether they were concerned that the system under which elections are conducted discriminates against White Americans.
About 3 in 10 Americans overall agreed with the idea that intentional replacement was occurring or that native-born Americans were losing influence. About 1 in 5 agreed that the election system discriminated against Whites. In each case, though, Republicans were more likely than Democrats to express agreement or concern.
The pollsters also asked respondents what cable news channel they preferred. As might be expected, those who preferred Fox News were more likely than Americans overall or than those who preferred CNN or MSNBC to agree with the replacement theory idea. Three in 10 of those who prefer Fox News held the agree/concerned positions on the first two questions above. Among those who watched cable news closer to the right-wing fringe — One America News and Newsmax — the figure was 45 percent.