Two devout Christians were among the 10 people killed during a racially motivated attack in a Buffalo grocery store on Saturday.
An 18 year old did the unthinkable on Saturday when he used an assault-style rifle and started shooting at people at a grocery store in a Black neighborhood in update New York, all while broadcasting it on the social media platform Twitch, which is owned by Amazon. The shooter killed 10 people, including two Christians, authorities said.
According to Reuters, drove to Buffalo, New York from his home several hours away to carry out the shooting, which ended up striking 13 people, 11 of which were Black. Two others were white. The suspect was Payton Gendron of Conklin, a town located in New York's Southern Tier region near the Pennsylvania border that is home to about 5,000 people.
Also Read: NYC Subway Shooting Injures Dozens Of People
Authorities said that the New York shooting suspect was reported by local media to have been a student at Broome Community College and had come close to committing suicide before he was taken by the police. The suspect had put a gun to his own neck before officers at the grocery store convinced him to surrender instead, Buffalo police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told a news briefing.
Gunman Kills 10 people in a Racially Charged Crime
According to Gramaglia, the New York shooting suspect shot and killed three people in the parking lot of the Tops Friendly Markets grocery before firing at a retired police officer who was working as a security guard for the store. However, the suspect was equipped with body armor. The guard was one of the 10 victims whose lives were needlessly taken.
Tops Friendly Markets manager Shonnell Harris reported that she heard up to 70 gunshots and fell several times as she fled the store through a back exit. She described the New York shooting suspect as someone who "looked like he was in the army." He was wearing camouflage.
FBI special agent Stephen Belongia, who is in charge of the agency's Buffalo field office, described the New York shooting as an act of "racially motivated violent extremism," saying that the suspect "was pure evil." He remarked during a news conference, "It was a straight-up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community."
Christians Among the Victims of the New York Shooting
Authorities reported that the New York shooting killed 10 victims, including the guard and nine customers. The three wounded victims are store employees and are expected to survive. But two of the dead were Christian believers who were seniors, the Christian Post reported.
The New York shooting suspect's two Christian victims were Pearly Young, who was 77 and Ruth Whitfield, who was 86. Reporter Madison Carter took to Twitter to share her sadness over Young's death, reminiscing about the 25 years in which she would host a pantry and feed people in Central Park every Saturday.
Young reportedly "loved singing, dancing [and] being with family. She was mother, grandma [and] missionary. Gone too soon."
Meanwhile, Whitfield was described by a certain Jimmie Smith on social media as being "so sweet and beautiful on the inside and out" and someone who "really did love the Lord." Whitfield's son, retired Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell W. Whitfield described his mother as "the consummate mon" who was "a mother to the motherless" and a "blessing" to everyone. He remarked, "She loved God and taught us to do the same thing.