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Salt Lake NAACP condemns 'mainstream bigotry' in wake of Buffalo shooting

Buffalo Supermarket Shooting
Posted at 11:50 AM, May 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-15 13:50:08-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People issued a strongly worded statement in response to the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York that left 10 people dead Saturday afternoon.

Payton Gendron, 18, has been charged with first-degree murder after killing 10 and wounding three others at a Buffalo supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood.

In a post to the branch's Facebook page Sunday morning, the organization condemned the attack, stating that it was the result of the mainstreaming of xenophobia and bigotry.

The full statement reads as follows:

"When we have main stream xenophobic, race baiting, banning Black and Brown and LGBTQ Book authors and bigotry, this is what happens. White 18-year-old from another city hours outside of Buffalo New York came in to the Black area grocery store and started shooting and 10 people are dead, 13 shot, 11 Blacks and 2Whites. He had engraved a racial slur on the gun. He had white Supremacy posters and other hate material at his apartment and in his social media. While shooting, he was live streaming. He wore a helmet and bulletproof vest. The security guard was a retired black police officer. He was killed. The officer shot him but it didn’t kill him, the suspect. Authorities said he was a white supremacist and the majority of the people that he shot were African-Americans and he targeted them."

The Associated Press reports that the shooting is currently being investigated by the FBI as an act of racially-motivated violent extremism, which meets the legal definition of an act of terror.

Federal investigators are also working to verify the authenticity of a 180-page manifesto outlining the attack and naming Gendron as the shooter.

Gendron was arraigned Saturday night, with a public defender entering a not guilty plea on his behalf.