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Live updates: Buffalo mass shooting aftermath and investigation

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Posted at 3:55 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-21 16:29:58-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 7 News is monitoring new developments regarding the mass shooting at Tops on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo and will publish new information as it becomes available here.

Friday, May 20, 4 p.m.
Authorities are searching for roughly a dozen people that were invited to view the Buffalo shooter's online diary, ABC News reported Friday.

Friday, May 20, 11 a.m.
Tops Friendly Markets announced it is encouraging people to join together for a moment of silence on Saturday at 2:30 p.m., which will mark one week since the shooting. Those participating are encouraged to use #BuffaloStandsTogether on social media. The City of Buffalo is also calling on residents to observe a collective moment of silence for 123 seconds from 2:28:57 p.m. to 2:31:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Thursday, May 19, 4:30 p.m.
The families of victims Andre Mackniel, Geraldine Talley, Deacon Hayward Patterson and Ruth Whitfield joined Rev. Al Sharpton and attorney Ben Crump for a press conference. All the families pleading for an end to this type of violence and hate.

Thursday, May 19, 3 p.m.
Mayor Byron Brown, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia and other agencies provide updates on the investigation of the mass shooting. Brown said the evidence collection has concluded. Tops President John Persons said the store will reopen as soon as possible but Tops wants to make sure the reopening is done right and done in a respectful way. Until the store can reopen, Tops said it will continue to support the neighborhood, the community and Tops associates. Commissioner Gramaglia said Jefferson Ave will reopen at approximately 5 p.m. Thursday but the investigation will continue and there will continue to be a BPD presence in the neighborhood.

Thursday, May 19, 12:30 p.m.
Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres alumni arrived at the Resource Council of WNY Thursday to volunteer. Those who were there to volunteer included Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas, Jim Kelly, Terry Pegula, Kim Pegula, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Rick Jeanneret, Patrick Kaleta, Rob Ray, Marty Biron and others.

Thursday, May 19, 9:50 a.m.
The suspect has been indicted by a grand jury. As a result a felony hearing was not heard in court. He was returned to the holding center, due back in court on June 9.

Thursday, May 19 9 a.m.
7 News is awaiting the suspect's court appearance for a federal hearing in Buffalo City Court.

Wednesday, May 18, 3:40 p.m.
A Tops spokesperson shared the following update regarding a potential timeline for the reopening of the Jefferson Avenue store:

First, please understand that we are committed to opening up this community store as soon as we possibly can. At this point, we are unable to speak to a timeline for reopening as we are unaware of the condition of the store. Currently the store itself remains an active law enforcement investigation site and, understandably, we have had no access. When the store is released to Tops, we will have a team assess next steps with the intention of rebuilding and repairing the store for the community in as short a period of time as possible. After that, we will need to respectfully acclimate our associates and the community at large to the store and when the time is right for all of us, we will reopen our doors on Jefferson Avenue. Until then, we remain here with you and for you in every way we possibly can. We know in this City of Good Neighbors, we truly are stronger together.

--Kathy Sautter, Tops spokesperson

Wednesday, May 18, 3 p.m.
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her office will be launching investigations into social media companies in connection to the mass shooting. According to the AG, the investigations will look into the social media companies and other resources the suspect used to "discuss and amplify his intentions and acts to carry out this attack." This includes but is not limited to Twitch, 4chan, 8chan, and Discord.

Wednesday, May 18, 11:30 a.m.
Members of the Bills, Sabres and Bandits— including QB Josh Allen and head coach Sean McDermott— laid flowers at the memorial for the ten people killed on Saturday. The Buffalo Bills Foundation and NFL Foundation announced a combined donation of $400,000 to support the community impacted by the mass shooting. Buffalo Bandits player Dhane Smith has also pledged to give back to victims' families.

Tuesday, May 17, 5:30 p.m.
A community vigil and food distribution coordinated by the Buffalo Branch of the NAACP gets underway at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street, adjacent to the Tops Friendly Markets.

According to a social media post, there will be:

  • Local and national speakers
  • Inspirational musical performances
  • Grief counselors on site for those in need, distributing resource guides for those wanting to know how they can get involved
  • Food distribution led by @feedbuffalo for residents in the community
  • Announcement of two fundraisers that will be taking place

Tuesday, May 17, 5 p.m.
Tops Friendly Markets and the National Compassion Fund announced the establishment of the "Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund" in response to the mass shooting. According to a release, 100% of the contributions donated to the fund will go directly to families of those deceased, those injured and those who were present in the store and experienced psychological trauma. Tops announced it has added $500,000 to the fund to get it started.

Tuesday, May 17, 2:30 p.m.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown discusses President Joe Biden's visit with families of the shooting victims.

Tuesday, May 17, 12:30 p.m.
While speaking in Buffalo, President Joe Biden acknowledged the victims and said "Jill and I bring you this message from deep in our nation's soul. In America, evil will not win, I promise you. Hate will not prevail. And white supremacy will not have the last word." Biden also said "what happened here is simple and straightforward — terrorism, terrorism, domestic terrorism." Biden continued on to say "white supremacy is a poison, it's a poison running through our body politic. It's been allowed to fester and grow right in front of our eyes. No more, I mean no more. We need to say as clearly and forcefully as we can that the ideology of white supremacy has no place in America, none." As the President ended his remarks he said, "hold on to each other tightly, stick together, you'll get through this and we'll make Buffalo and the United States a better place to live than it is today."

Tuesday, May 17, 12:20 p.m.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the Delavan Grider Community Center after meeting with families of the 10 people killed in the mass shooting at Tops on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo on Saturday.

Tuesday, May 17, 11:45 a.m.
Local elected leaders speak at the Delavan Grider Community Center ahead of President Joe Biden speaking.

Tuesday, May 17, 10 a.m.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden arrived at the memorial on Jefferson Avenue. They were joined by Governor Kathy Hochul, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Brian Higgins, Mayor Byron Brown, New York State Attorney General Letitia James, and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. President Biden and the First Lady laid flowers at the memorial across from the Tops on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo. They will now meet with the families of the 10 people who were killed on Saturday.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden lay flowers at the memorial for the 10 victims of the Buffalo mass shooting

Tuesday, May 17, 9:30 a.m.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden have landed in Buffalo.

Tuesday, May 17, 7 a.m.
President Joe Biden will arrive this morning in Buffalo with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. President Biden will deliver remarks at the Delavan Grider Community Center at 1 p.m.

Monday, May 16, 4 p.m.
Local leaders provided an update in the aftermath of Saturday's shooting. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said Buffalo police and partnering law enforcement agencies are investigating
social media posts with possible threats and will prosecute if necessary and arrests have already been made. The U.S. Attorney's Office and Erie County District Attorney's Office announced they are also investigating the social media threats. Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the preliminary investigation into the mass shooting uncovered that the suspect was in the area in early March but did not provide further details. ABC News has obtained a 589-page document that provides more details which can be found here. Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said the defense attorney has withdrawn the request for a forensic examination of the suspect, "the mental health forensic part of this has now become a moot point and is now off the table," Flynn said. A felony hearing is scheduled for Thursday. Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said the suspect remains in custody, on suicide watch, and in a segregated unit aside from the rest of the general population. You can watch the full update below.

Monday, May 16, 12:30 p.m.
Local partners announce a food distribution effort to support the community impacted by Saturday's mass shooting in Buffalo. You can find more information on the distribution here, more information on a shuttle Tops is providing here and more information on how you can help here. Tops also released a statement saying in part it is working to create a fund for the families of the victims and those directly
impacted. You can find the statement below.

Monday, May 16, 11:30 a.m.
Attorney Ben Crump and the family of Ruth Whitfield, a victim in Saturday's mass shooting in Buffalo, hold a press conference. Whitfield was 86 years old. Her son, former Buffalo Fire Department Commissioner Garnell Whitfield, says his family wants to see positive change out of this tragedy. "It's not just some story to drive the news cycle. This is our mother, this is our lives. We need help. We're asking you to help us. Help us change this, this can't keep happening."

Buffalo mass shooting victim Ruth Whitfield's son, Garnell Whitfield, speaks about his mother's legacy

Sunday, May 15, 6 p.m.
ABC News confirms President Joe Biden will visit Buffalo on Tuesday. The First Lady will join the president to grieve with the Buffalo community, according to a release about their trip.

Sunday, May 15, 5 p.m.
GoFundMe creates a webpage with links to verified fundraisers the community can donate to. You can find that page here. Those efforts are happening on top of the local, state and national help that was announced during a press conference Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, May 15, 4 p.m.
Interfaith vigil at Macedonia Baptist Church helps to begin the healing process in Buffalo. More than 100 people attended the vigil, which was held less than a mile from where the shooting occurred.

Sunday, May 15, 3 p.m.
Buffalo police identify the 10 people who were killed and the three people who were injured in the shooting. As Western New York mourns with the ten families who lost loved ones, 7 News wishes to honor their memory. You can find more information on the victims here.

Sunday, May 15, 1:30 p.m.
A law enforcement official told the Associated Press the suspect became the focus of a New York State Police investigation in June 2021 after troopers were called to Susquehanna High School in Conklin. The law enforcement official said the suspect had threatened a shooting at his high school and was sent for mental health treatment. At the time of the incident, state police said the student was taken to a hospital for an evaluation. The outcome of that evaluation is not known. But despite the mental health evaluation, law enforcement says the suspect was not on their radar.

Sunday, May 15, noon
The community gathers to mourn the victims, search for comfort and help those in need.

Sunday, May 15, 11:30 a.m.
Buffalo police said the suspect in the mass shooting arrived in Buffalo at least one day before the shooting to scope out the area. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a law enforcement official told the Associated Press that the suspect's parents were being interviewed by federal agents. Multiple search warrants were served on their home and they were reportedly cooperating with investigators. ABC News reported the weapon the suspect allegedly used was a legally-purchased assault-style rifle similar to an AR-15 at a gun store in Broome County. Governor Kathy Hochul told ABC News he illegally modified the gun. He reportedly obtained other weapons at gun stores in New York and Pennsylvania and one was a gift from his father.

Sunday, May 15, 9 a.m.
Two of three people injured have been released from the hospital. The third person remains hospitalized in stable condition, according to an ECMC spokesperson.

Saturday, May 14, 7:30 p.m.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul arrived in Buffalo and spoke, saying in part "it strikes us in our very hearts to know that there’s such evil that lurks out there."

Saturday, May 14, 7 p.m.
The suspect, 18-year-old Payton Gendron of Conklin, appeared in court handcuffed wearing a white paper smock. He was charged with first-degree murder in connection to the mass shooting at Tops. According to investigators, he drove three and a half hours and live-streamed the deadly rampage on social media. Authorities say he shot several people in the parking lot of Tops before entering the store and continuing the shooting. He was taken into custody by the Buffalo Police Department inside the store. Public defender Brian Parker, who is representing him, said the following during arraignment: "As far as any further reading of the following complaint I would waive that at this point and enter a plea of not guilty on behalf of my client."

Saturday, May 14, 6 p.m.
The White House released the following statement from Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on the mass shooting: “The President has been briefed by his Homeland Security Advisor on the horrific shooting in Buffalo, NY this afternoon. He will continue to receive updates throughout the evening and tomorrow as further information develops. The President and the First Lady are praying for those who have been lost and for their loved ones.”

Saturday, May 14, 3 p.m.
Ten people were killed and three others were wounded when investigators say a heavily armed man opened fire outside and then inside the Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo. Local, federal and state authorities are calling the mass shooting a hate crime and act of terrorism targeting Black people in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Buffalo. Eleven of the victims were Black, two were White. Of the 13 people who were shot, nine were shoppers. Four others were employees.