A MASS shooting has claimed the lives of at least ten people after an alleged gunman live-streamed the bloody rampage in a Buffalo grocery store.
Eerie County Sherrif John Garcia explained that Gendron allegedly drove up to five hours to get to that specific area of New York, which is a predominately black community.
Gendron is from Conklin, about 200 miles southeast of Buffalo, according to law enforcement.
Police said he was heavily armed and wearing tactical gear along with a camera used to live-stream the bloody shooting on the social media platform Twitch.
The Sun has viewed what appears to be graphic video footage of the incident, showing victims being gunned down in the parking lot at point-blank range and inside the store.
Twitch did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication. However, in a statement, the company said it removed the live stream two minutes after it started, Reuters reported.
A deranged 180-page racist manifesto allegedly authored by the suspect has also been circulating, which has not been independently verified by The Sun.
Before entering the store, Gendron is accused of shooting thirteen people in total, killing ten and wounding three others.
One heroic victim was later reported to be security guard Aaron Salter Jr, who lost his life trying to defend customers and colleagues during the nightmarish gun rampage.
Buffalo police entered the store and confronted the suspect, police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said at a news conference.
Most read in US News
Gramaglia told reporters: “At that point, the suspect put the gun to his own neck. Buffalo police personnel -- two patrol officers -- talked the suspect into dropping the gun."
"He dropped the gun, took off some of his tactical gear, and surrendered at that point. And he was led outside, put in a police car."
One of those killed was Salter, a former Buffalo police officer who had been working as a security guard inside the store and engaged in gunfire with the alleged shooter, who was protected by armor.
The teenager – who local media outlets reported had been a student at the State University of New York's Broome Community College near Binghamton – was arrested by police at the scene.
Authorities worked to quickly get the 18-year-old suspect arraigned on Saturday night. During the court appearance, he wore a paper gown and a mask and was barefoot.
Gendron's lawyer told the judge his client was pleading not guilty to the charge of murder in the first degree and requested a forensics exam. The judge denied bail.
After the hearing, Gendron's lawyer told WIVB4 he was assigned to represent Gendron by the courts.
He will be back in the courtroom on Thursday morning.
The crime is being investigated as a case of racially motivated violent extremism, according to New York governor Kathy Hochul.
As it stands, the highest punishment that could be handed down by the state of New York is life in prison without parole.
During a press conference, Garcia called the gun rampage a targeted killing that was "pure evil," while Mayor Byron Brown decried it as "the worst nightmare" the community could face.
"This person was pure evil," an emotional Erie County Sheriff John Garcia told reporters. "It was a straight-up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community."
Officials said 11 of the victims were black and two were white.
“The depth of pain that families are feeling and that all of us are feeling right now cannot even be explained," Brown told CBS.
Though he tried to console those who lost loved ones and witnesses, during a press conference, the mayor said acknowledged that there "is no comfort at this time."
Brown also referred to the alleged shooter as "an evil jerk": "I don't give a damn about him right now, I care about the families, their mothers are not coming home tonight," he told one CBS reporter.
President Biden blasted the "abhorrent to the very fabric of this nation" on Saturday.
"Hate must have no safe harbor," he said. "We must do everything in our power to end hate-fueled domestic terrorism."
'ACT OF BARBARISM'
Hochul slammed social media sites for fostering environments that allow hate groups to expand and share harmful information and said the Twitch footage should have been taken down "within a second."
“The fact that this act of barbarism, this execution of innocent human beings could be live-streamed on social media platforms and not taken down within a second says to me that there is a responsibility out there," she said during an emotional address.
The governor called out social media sites and their duty to "ensure that such hate cannot populate" their platforms on Saturday evening.
Tops Friendly Markets shared a statement on Twitter after the deadly event unfolded:
"We are shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families."
"Our top priority remains the health and well-being of our associates and customers.
"We appreciate the quick response of local law enforcement and are providing all available resources to assist authorities in the ongoing investigation."