New details continue to emerge Sunday (May 15) of the white teenager who killed 10 people in a racist attack at a western New York grocery store in a Black neighborhood, as the families in the area begin to grapple with the aftermath. This video contains graphic content. This report is produced by Freddie Joyner.
A reverend at True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo, New York on Sunday addressed worshipers at a mournful service that included some family members of victims directly affected by a mass shooting by a white teen at a New York grocery store that led to the loss of 10 lives a day prior.
Pastor Darius Pridgen:
“Ten people who went to Tops yesterday were workers earning an honest living. They were not gangbanging, they were not trying to hurt anybody. They went in Tops to get butter, eggs, milk…”
The suspect, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, surrendered to police on Saturday after what authorities called an act of “racially motivated violent extremism.”
He allegedly publicized a 180-page racist manifesto on the internet.
Eleven people struck by gunfire were Black and two were white, officials said.
The racial breakdown of the dead was not made clear.
Authorities said Gendron drove to Buffalo from his home several hours away to launch the attack, which he broadcast in real time on social media platform Twitch, a live video service owned by Amazon.
He then opened fire at the Tops grocery store using a gun that he legally purchased but had illegally modified a high-capacity magazine, according to New York governor Kathy Hochul.
Eyewitness Grady Lewis, described what he saw on Saturday:
“I heard like at least 20 shots inside the store. I didn’t have a phone on me so I was just yelling and screaming for people to call the police. I looked over and I saw a woman on the ground. I seen a man on the ground. I see another woman on the ground behind the gate.”
On Sunday, several dozen community members held an emotional vigil for the victims outside the store.
Authorities said that Gendron had been taken into custody and given a mental health evaluation a year ago, but was released after roughly a day.