Ten killed in mass shooting at Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket, police say; shooter in custody

Ten people were killed by a gunman dressed in body armor and armed with a high powered rifle, while three others were wounded – two of them critically – outside and inside a Tops supermarket on Jefferson Avenue this afternoon.

A Buffalo police official at the scene and another source close to law enforcement confirmed the massacre at the supermarket.

“It’s like walking onto a horror movie, but everything is real. It is armageddon-like,” said the police official at the scene. “It is so overwhelming.”

One of the deceased was a recently retired Buffalo police officer who was working security at the store, both sources said.

The Buffalo News is withholding the retired officer’s identity because it could not be determined if his family had yet been notified.

<p>Buffalo Police Department SWAT team blocks off an entrance to the Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue. </p>

Maki Becker/Buffalo News

Buffalo Police Department SWAT team blocks off an entrance to the Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue. 

As many as five bodies were found in the parking lot, the onsite police official said.

“Bullets and blood are everywhere,” the source said.

Shonnell Harris, an operation manager at the Tops, said she heard gun shots and ran frantically through the store, falling several times before exiting out the back. She saw the shooter, whom she described as a white man wearing camouflage. “He looked like he was in the Army.” Harris thought she heard 70 shots.

The shooter had a camera and police are looking into whether he live streamed video from the scene, the official said.

The shooter was taken into custody and placed in a police vehicle at the scene, according to the two sources.

The shooter was cloaked in body armor and had a military grade helmet on his head.

It is unknown if he offered a reason for the massacre.

<p>Large police presence at Northampton and Jefferson Streets near the Tops Markets.</p>

Maki Becker/Buffalo News

Large police presence at Northampton and Jefferson Streets near the Tops Markets.

Inside the supermarket, several other victims were found, the two sources said, and some of the deceased individuals appeared to be hiding near cash register lines.

Adding to the horror, one of the sources said, was family members arriving after word spread in the community about the shooting.

Others at the scene started streaming the shooting on Facebook Live.

Will G., a dairy frozen worker at the Tops on Jefferson, said he walked into the cooler to stock milk about three minutes before the shooting. “I just heard shots. Shots and shots and shots,” he said. “It sounded like things were falling over.”

The worker hid in the cooler and more people joined him, he said. “I hid. I just hid. I wasn’t going to leave that room.”

A large police presence shut down the area north of Jefferson Avenue at Northampton Street. The Tops Markets is at the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street, about two blocks north of Jefferson and Northampton.

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz tweeted at 2:49 p.m. that he was aware of an “active multiple shooting event” that occurred at the Tops Markets at 1275 Jefferson Ave. He urged the public to avoid the area.

More coverage of the shooting here: