April 23, 2024

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel Tuesday to Buffalo, New York, “to grieve with the community that lost ten lives in a senseless and horrific mass shooting,” the White House said Sunday. 

Ten people were killed and three injured Saturday in what officials are calling a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism. The suspect, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, was arraigned Saturday on a charge of murder in the first degree, the most severe murder charge under New York law. He pleaded not guilty.

Buffalo authorities on Sunday released the names and ages of the victims, who ranged in age from 32 to 86. These are the victims:

  • Roberta Drury, 32, of Buffalo
  • Margus Morrison, 52, of Buffalo
  • Andre Mackneil, 53, of Auburn, N.Y.
  • Aaron Salter, 55, of Lockport, N.Y.
  • Geraldine Talley, 62, of Buffalo
  • Celestine Chaney, 65, of Buffalo
  • Heyward Patterson, 67, of Buffalo
  • Katherine Massey, 72, of Buffalo
  • Pearl Young, 77, of Buffalo
  • Ruth Whitfield, 86, of Buffalo 

Mr. Biden said Sunday that he has been receiving updates from the White House, which is working with the Justice Department. 

“We’re still gathering the facts; already the Justice Department has stated publicly and as investigating the matter as a hate crime, racially motivated act of white supremacy and violent extremism as they do,” Mr. Biden said. “We must all work together to address the hate. The remains the stain on the soul of American hearts are heavy once again. What a resolve must never ever waver.”

President Biden Speaks At The National Peace Officers' Memorial Service
 President Joe Biden speaks at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service at the U.S. Capitol on May 15, 2022 in Washington, DC. The National Fraternal Order of Police held the 41st Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service.


A White House official said Sunday that Mr. Biden had spoken to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is from Buffalo, and he had reached out to the city’s mayor, Byron Brown.

Brown told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the suspect, who is White, “came here here to take as many Black lives as possible.” Of the 13 victims, 11 were Black. 

Authorities said the suspect, who was heavily armed and wearing tactical gear, got out of his vehicle at Buffalo’s Tops Friendly Market and shot four people in the parking lot, killing three of them. He then allegedly walked inside the store and encountered a retired Buffalo police officer working as a security guard, who fired multiple shots at the suspected gunman. The shooter then killed the guard and walked through the supermarket, shooting others, police said.

Apparently referring to Salter, the security guard, the National Rifle Association tweeted Sunday night that, “Disarming law-abiding citizens and making good people helpless will not make bad people harmless.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland said Saturday that federal authorities are “investigating this matter as a hate crime and an act of racially-motivated violent extremism.”  

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said Saturday that Gendron came from Conklin, New York, which is approximately a three and a half hour drive from Buffalo. In a hate-filled manifesto purportedly written and posted online by Gendron before the attack, he said that he chose the location because it has a high Black population and “isn’t that far away.”   

Victoria Albert, Gabrielle Ake and Melissa Quinn contributed to this report.

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