The gunman who killed 10 people in a racially-motivated mass shooting in the Buffalo, New York on Saturday appeared to have racist slogans daubed on his weapon, according to stills from a video of the attack.
The gunman entered the busy Tops Friendly Market area in the 1200 block of Jefferson Avenue in the state’s second-largest city, in a predominantly Black neighbourhood, and shot 13 people, out of which 11 were Black.
The incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime and a suspect, 18-year-old Payton Gendron of Broome County in New York, has been taken alive into custody.
Close-up shots from a video of Saturday’s attack, filmed by the gunman himself, show the N-word and the number 14 — a known white supremacist code — written on the barrel of the gun in white paint.
A government official said “14” refers to a 14-word statement that is popular with white supremacists, according to Buffalo News.
“The statement is: ‘We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white people’,” the official said. It was coined by David Lane, a member of the white supremacist terrorist group known as The Order.
The official said the suspect was a “very troubled young man” who had previously threatened violence.
“A school official reported that this very troubled young man had made statements indicating that he wanted to do a shooting, either at a graduation ceremony or sometime after,” the official familiar with the case said.
A hate-filled, 180-page manifesto, purportedly written by Mr Gendron, has also been circulated on social media and contains racist and anti-semitic views.
Buffalo mayor Byron Brown said the gunman was intentionally looking to take “as many black lives as possible” and that the attack was racially motivated.