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Attorney General Merrick Garland said Saturday night that the Justice Department is investigating the Buffalo shooting as a “hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism.”
Garland’s statement follows a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, where an 18-year-old allegedly shot 13 people, killing 10 of them.
The suspected shooter has been identified as 18-year-old Payton Gendron of Conklin, New York, according to The Associated Press.
NEW YORK POLICE SAYS 13 PEOPLE SHOT, 10 DEAD IN ‘MASS SHOOTING’ AT BUFFALO GROCERY
He is charged with first degree murder and pleaded not guilty Saturday night, according to WKBW.
Garland said the Justice Department is investigating the case as a hate crime.
“The Department of Justice is investigating this matter as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism. The Department of Justice is committed to a thorough and prompt investigation of this shooting and to seeking justice for these innocent victims,” Garland said in a statement.
DALLAS SHOOTING IN KOREATOWN POSSIBLE HATE CRIME, POLICE CHIEF NOW SAYS
“Tonight, the country mourns the victims of a horrific and senseless shooting in Buffalo, New York. The FBI and ATF are working closely with the Buffalo Police Department and federal, state, and local partners charged with the law enforcement,” he added.
Officials say the shooter traveled “hours” outside of Buffalo. The shooting happened at Tops Friendly Markets on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo.
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The shooter reportedly broadcast the incident live on social media, but it was quickly deleted.