The 18-year-old White man accused of killing 10 people in a racist mass shooting Saturday at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, had visited in early March, police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Monday.
Officials had previously said the suspect, who is from Conklin, about 200 miles away, arrived in Buffalo on Friday for the first time to scout out the Tops Friendly Markets store in a predominantly Black neighborhood. However, Gramaglia updated that timeline as he described the investigation into the suspect's extensive "digital footprint."
"Information has also come as a result of some of this investigation that the individual was here a few months ago, back in early March," Gramaglia said.
The information comes as investigators have dug into a 180-page diatribe posted online and attributed to the suspected gunman that lays out in detail his motives and plans for the attack.
The massacre follows other mass shootings in recent years in which authorities say a White supremacist suspect was motivated by racial hatred, including in El Paso, Texas, Charleston, South Carolina, and as far as Norway and New Zealand.
Here's what we know so far about the attack:
About the attack: Gramaglia said the suspect drove to the store around 2:30 p.m. ET. Wearing tactical gear, he shot four people in the parking lot, Gramaglia said, and then went inside the store, where a security guard engaged him. The suspect shot and killed the guard and then "continued to work his way through the store," Gramaglia said.
The victims: A retired police lieutenant. A substitute teacher who was a "pillar of the community." A beloved grandmother of six. A dedicated community activist. They were among the 10 people killed in the shooting. Thirteen people, ages 20 to 86, were shot. Eleven were Black and two were White, Buffalo police said.
The investigation: Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told CNN Monday that the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime, but declined to call it a domestic terrorist attack. “With respect to the tragic events of this past Saturday, it is being investigated, as the FBI articulated, as a hate crime,” Mayorkas told CNN’s Jeremy Diamond. “The term domestic terrorism is a legal term, and because the investigation is ongoing, I won't — I won't employ that term.”
Federal prosecutors are working to bring charges against the shooting suspect law enforcement officials said. Those charges are expected in the coming days, and would be in addition to state charges. The suspect was charged with first-degree murder Saturday. He has pleaded not guilty.
Attorney General Merrick Garland on Saturday said the Justice Department was investigating the attack as a “hate crime and an act of racially-motivated violent extremism.” It’s unclear if the Justice Department would be able to seek the federal death penalty — as that depends on what charges are brought. At a news conference on Saturday, US Attorney Trini Ross was asked about the possibility of federal charges and the death penalty being sought, and she responded, “All options are on the table as we go forward with the investigation.”
The shooting suspect's racist statement: A 180-page diatribe attributed to the shooting suspect, which posted online just before the deadly rampage, shows in chilling detail the meticulous planning that apparently went into the racist massacre.
Alongside tirades about his false belief that White Americans were being “replaced” by people of other races, the 18-year-old suspect allegedly included in the writing a hand-drawn map of the store he targeted, a minute-by-minute plan of the deadly attack, and pages upon pages listing the equipment and clothing he planned to wear – from military-style body armor down to the brand of his underwear.
What happens next: President Biden and the first lady are scheduled to visit Buffalo on Tuesday and meet with the families of the shooting victims, first responders and community leaders.
CNN's Alisha Ebrahimji, Dakin Andone and Amir Vera contributed reporting to this post.
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