The incident took place at a Tops Markets grocery store on May 14 when 18-year-old Payton Gendron live-streamed his attack while wearing military-style clothing in addition to body armor, as stated by police.
Since then, officials have noted that the incident has been under investigation by the FBI as both a hate crime and a racially motivated violent extremism.
In regards to the shooting, SLC’s NAACP stated the following in a Facebook post:
“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 2 Whites. 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.”
Similarly, Erie County Sheriff John Garcia spoke out about the incident, saying, “This was pure evil. This was a straight-up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community.”
Jeanetta Williams, the President of the Salt Lake Branch of the NAACP is calling for change.
“We need to have better gun control laws…it’s ridiculous and doesn’t make sense that an 18-year-old can go and get a gun and buy a gun and then go and do the mass shootings that they do,” she said.
Williams also urging that people stay aware and informed.
“If you see something, say something, report it,” Williams said.
She says she wants to families of the victims to know that people across the country are there for them.