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Police: Buffalo mass shooter was in the area the day before shooting

Posted at 11:24 AM, May 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 16:34:05-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia says the suspect in Saturday's mass shooting arrived in Buffalo at least one day before the shooting to scope out the area.

Authorities say the 18-year-old suspect drove from Conklin, New York to Buffalo to carry out the shooting. The town, located outside of Binghamton, is roughly 200 miles southeast of Buffalo.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a law enforcement official told the Associated Press that the man's parents were being interviewed by federal agents. Multiple search warrants were served on the parents, who are cooperating with investigators.

ABC News reported Sunday afternoon the weapon Gendron allegedly used was a legally-purchased assault-style rifle similar to AR-15 at a gun store in Broome County. Governor Kathy Hochul told ABC News suspected gunman 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.

Gramaglia says the suspect arrived at the Tops Saturday afternoon in tactical gear, including a helmet and armor. He shot several people in the parking lot before entering the store.

Once inside the store, the suspect was shot by a security officer in an attempt to stop him. The security guard, later identified by police as retired Buffalo police officer Aaron Salter, was shot and killed by the suspect.

Gramaglia described Salter as a "true hero," and said there could have been more victims had Salter not confronted the shooter.

The shooter was eventually met by Buffalo police officers, who Gramaglia says were able to deescalate the situation and convince the shooter to disarm himself and surrender.

The suspects now faces a first degree murder charge. His public defender entered a not guilty plea on his behalf in court Saturday evening.