According to the Buffalo Police Department, Payton Gendron, 18, entered the Tops Friendly Markets store with a military-style assault rifle and opened fire. Investigators believe it was a racially motivated attack, the Associated Press reports.
He allegedly researched the local demographics and chose that supermarket to kill as many Black people as possible, then shot, in total, 11 Black people and two white people on Saturday.
Citing an unnamed law enforcement official, the AP said a preliminary investigation found Gendron had repeatedly visited online sites that promoted white supremacist ideologies and race-based conspiracy theories.
NBC News reports Gendron apparently wrote and posted an explicit public declaration that repeatedly cited the “Great Replacement” theory, which is the false belief that a secret political group is working to replace white Americans with non-white people through interracial marriage, immigration, and inevitable violence.
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