President Joe Biden, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, and local lawmakers were among those who reacted to a mass shooting in Buffalo Saturday afternoon, where a self-described white supremacist killed 10 people and injured three others.
Payton Gendron, 18, was arrested for carrying out the shooting incident, which he reportedly live-streamed on the video game streaming platform Twitch, authorities said.
In a statement, Gov. Kathy Hochul said she hopes Gramaglia will be held accountable for his action, including imprisonment for “the rest of his days.”
“It is my sincere hope that this individual, this white supremacist who just perpetrated a hate crime on an innocent community, will spend the rest of his days behind bars. And heaven help him in the next world as well,” Hochul said.
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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a statement saying Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were aware of the shooting incident and were praying for those affected.
“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,” Jean-Pierre said. “The President and the First Lady are praying for those who have been lost and for their loved ones.”
President Biden later released a statement later honoring the law enforcement members who “took immediate action” to end the shooting spree.
“Tonight, we grieve for the families of ten people whose lives were senselessly taken and everyone who is suffering the physical and emotional wounds of this horrific shooting. We are grateful for the bravery of members of law enforcement and other first responders who took immediate action to try to protect and save lives,” Biden said. “The First Lady and I are praying for the victims and their families, and hearts all across this country are with the people of Buffalo.”
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Biden also said racism and domestic terrorism “is antithetical” to what America stands for, as Saturday’s attack is believed to be racially motivated.
“We still need to learn more about the motivation for today’s shooting as law enforcement does its work, but we don’t need anything else to state a clear moral truth: A racially motivated hate crime is abhorrent to the very fabric of this nation,” he added. “Any act of domestic terrorism, including an act perpetrated in the name of a repugnant white nationalist ideology, is antithetical to everything we stand for in America. Hate must have no safe harbor. We must do everything in our power to end hate-fueled domestic terrorism.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand also tweeted about the incident, condemning “the scourge of racism and anti-Semitism.”
“I am heartbroken for the victims of today’s shooting in Buffalo, and am praying for their loved ones and first responders,” Gillibrand tweeted. “We must do more to address the scourge of racism and anti-Semitism, and to pass commonsense gun safety measures to keep our communities safe.”
I am heartbroken for the victims of today’s shooting in Buffalo, and am praying for their loved ones and first responders.
We must do more to address the scourge of racism and anti-Semitism, and to pass commonsense gun safety measures to keep our communities safe.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) May 14, 2022
Senator Chuck Schumer similarly said race-based hate “has no place” in New York or the U.S.
“I ache for the victims and their families. I ache for Buffalo. I ache for the tight-knit East Side community. Racism has no place in our state or our country. I’ve spoken with the Mayor of Buffalo and offered any help we can provide. We stand with the people of Buffalo.”
I ache for the victims and their families. I ache for Buffalo. I ache for the tight-knit East Side community. Racism has no place in our state or our country.
I’ve spoken with the Mayor of Buffalo and offered any help we can provide. We stand with the people of Buffalo.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 14, 2022
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik tweeted she was “very saddened” and was praying for “the entire community and law enforcement.”
The reaction poured beyond politicians as Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen said he was “absolutely heartbroken” over the shooting.