Official: Suspect Had Plans 'to Shoot More Black People'

Possibly at 'another large superstore' in Buffalo, per the city's police commissioner
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2022 9:45 AM CDT
Official: Suspect Had Plans 'to Shoot More Black People'
A crowd gathers as police investigate after a shooting at a Tops supermarket on Saturday in Buffalo, NY.   (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

As more details trickle out on the victims of Saturday's mass shooting in Buffalo, NY, more on the alleged gunman is also emerging, including a chilling glimpse at what he'd possibly planned to do if he hadn't been stopped. Joseph Gramaglia, the city's police commissioner, told CNN on Monday that authorities had unearthed evidence that the suspect "had plans, had he gotten out of here, to continue his rampage, and continue shooting people." Gramaglia added: "He'd even spoken about possibly going to another store," possibly "another large superstore" like the Tops supermarket where 10 people were killed and three were injured.

Those plans included "to shoot more Black people," Gramaglia noted, per ABC News. Eleven of the 13 people who were gunned down on Saturday, ranging in age from 20 to 86, were Black. Investigators now believe the alleged gunman, who's said to live in Conklin in Broome County, about three and a half hours away from Buffalo, was in the city on Friday doing reconnaissance at the supermarket, per Gramaglia, who added it's believed the suspect acted alone. Authorities also say it appears he bought his gun legally in New York state, though he didn't purchase the high-capacity magazine there, per the Guardian.

One Tops store manager says she saw the suspect sitting on a bench outside the Tops on Friday for several hours, before he eventually entered and seemed to be harassing customers, per ABC. The manager says she then asked him to leave, which he did without incident. The shooting was a "straight-up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community," Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said, per CNN. "This was pure evil." The suspect has been arraigned for first-degree murder and will appear in court on Thursday. (Read more Buffalo shooting stories.)

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