On Saturday afternoon, a man seized a gun from his car, where he had stored two other guns, and opened fire on shoppers in and around a Buffalo Tops Friendly Markets store, killing 10 people and injuring three others.
the suspected shooter, named Payton Gendron18, of Conklin, outside Binghamton, used an assault rifle in the attack, Buffalo police said, adding he also had a shotgun and rifle in his car.
The act was a “racist hate crime,” based on evidence uncovered so far, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said. The store is located at a neighborhood that has been predominantly African American for decades, said Rep. Brian Higgins, a Democrat representing parts of Erie and Niagara counties.
Eleven of 13 gunshot victims were black. Authorities are examining an online graphic manifesto that would detail the racial views of the abuser and the weapon he chose to use in the shootingbut has not yet been fully verified.
“This event will not define Buffalo,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said Sunday. “This event was committed by a sick and demented individual who was fueled (by) a daily diet of hate.”
Gendron was arraigned Saturday night on one count of first-degree murder, and officials said they will weigh additional charges in the coming days.
The primary weapon could offer a glimpse of the shooter’s headspace – It was listed with a racial epithet, Higgins said, citing law enforcement briefings.
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What do we know about the main gun?
The weapon was an assault rifle with features that made it legal in New York. It was similar to those used in other high-profile mass shootings, such as those at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee.
But the weapon had been illegally modified after purchase, officials said.
How was the weapon modified?
The semi-automatic weapon was modified with an illegal magazine, Governor Kathy Hochul said Sunday.
New York prohibits the sale of any magazine with a capacity of more than 10 rounds.
Hochul said law enforcement was working to determine where the used magazines were acquired, but observed they could be purchased as close to Pennsylvania.
She did not specify how many bullets the magazines could hold.
Large magazines, or those holding more than 10 rounds, have played a role in at least 86 mass shootings since 1980, according to to a report of the Violence Policy Center, a national nonprofit that advocates for gun control.
“Once again, a military-grade assault rifle fitted with a high-capacity ammo magazine has been used for the exact purpose it was designed for: to kill and injure as many people as quickly and efficiently as possible. “, said Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the VPC. said Sunday in a statement.
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Where and when did he get the rifle?
The gun was purchased from Vintage Firearms, a collectible firearms and ammunition store in Endicott, Broome County, about 20 minutes from the shooter’s hometown. The store buys and sells guns and ammunition, and sporadically uses its Facebook business page to advertise the acquisition of a large collection of guns or various types of ammunition.
Requests for comment from store owner Robert Donald on the shooting and the weapon involved were not immediately returned.
Law enforcement officials did not provide details on when Gendron acquired the weapon. It was unclear how and when he bought or acquired the other two guns in the car.
Payton Gendron:What we now know about the alleged Buffalo mass shooter
What are New York’s gun laws?
A person must be 21 or older to obtain a license to purchase a handgun in New York. But anyone 18 or older can buy a long gun, such as a rifle or shotgun, without a license, and someone can own a long gun as young as 16. New York City requires long gun permits and applicants must be 21 or older.
the New York one Ammunition and Firearms Safe Execution Act, passed in 2013, tightened state gun laws by mandating universal federal background checks on sales by licensed gun dealers, as well as private sales or transfers, except between members of the immediate family.
The law also prohibited the sale of assault weapons, defined as a semi-automatic rifle, pistol, or shotgun with one or more specific characteristics, including types of magazines, stocks, or grips. New Yorkers who already owned these weapons before the SAFE Act passed had to register them with the state or permanently modify them to ensure they were no longer assault weapons.
Donald, of Vintage Firearms, told the New York Times that the gun he sold to Gendron complied with New York law and that Gendron’s background check revealed nothing of concern.
Includes reports from the Democrat and Chronicle and USA Today.
Sarah Taddeo is the New York State Team Editor for the USA Today Network. Do you have a tip or a comment? Contact Sarah at [email protected] or on Twitter @Sjtaddeo. This coverage is only possible with the support of our readers. Please consider becoming a digital subscriber.