At least 10 people have been killed and three have been injured in Buffalo, N.Y. after an 18-year-old white man entered a supermarket and opened fire while livestreaming on Twitch Saturday afternoon.
Officials believe that the gunman streamed his actions through a camera attached to a tactical helmet. Reports indicate that the video depicts the shooter pulling up to the grocery store and pointing his assault rifle at people in the parking lot and opening fire. The gunman then walked into the store to shoot others.
Twitch, the massively popular live-streaming website owned by Amazon, has since taken the gunman’s channel offline, citing a violation of Twitch’s “community guidelines and terms of service.” A spokesperson confirmed that the company removed the stream less than two minutes after the violence started.
“We are devastated to hear about the shooting that took place this afternoon in Buffalo,” a Twitch spokesperson said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the community impacted by this tragedy. Twitch 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.”
Authorities have deemed the incident at the Tops Friendly Market a “hate crime and racially motivated violent extremism.” The mass shooting occurred in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Buffalo. 11 of the victims are Black and two are white.
Officials state that the suspect, an 18-year-old white man, was wielding an assault weapon. Byron Brown, mayor of Buffalo, has stated that the shooter is now in custody.
“The shooter was not from this community,” Brown stated. “In fact, the shooter traveled hours from outside this community to perpetrate this crime on the people of Buffalo.”
Tops Friendly Markets released a statement regarding the incident: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”