Sadiq Khan says he feels 'incredibly safe' after Buffalo shooting suspect labels him 'Muslim invader'

16 May 2022, 07:25 | Updated: 16 May 2022, 11:29

New York governor calls Buffalo attack 'an act of terrorism'

By Asher McShane

Sadiq Khan feels "incredibly safe" despite being named in a twisted manifesto created by a teenage white supremacist accused of slaughtering 10 people in a racist massacre at a US supermarket.

Payton Gendron, 18, has been detained and is being kept on suicide watch after the mass shooting at a US supermarket in the city of Buffalo.

He branded Mayor of London Sadiq Khan a 'high profile enemy' and 'Muslim invader'.

He is accused of shooting 13 people, ten of whom were fatally injured, during an attack motivated by his hatred for black people at a Top Market supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

Eleven of the 13 people who were shot were black.

The suspected killer is being held on suicide watch
The suspected killer is being held on suicide watch. Picture: Getty

According to the Mirror, the gunman, who is accused of scrawling the N-word on his rifle before carrying out the massacre, published a horrific 180-page manifesto referencing Mr Khan. On page 165 of his manifesto, under the heading 'Kill high profile enemies', he listed Mr Khan as one of three men he wanted dead.

10 people were shot dead in the massacre on Saturday
10 people were shot dead in the massacre on Saturday. Picture: Alamy

Mr Khan, who visited the US last week, said: "It's been on public record that I receive police protection.

"It's unfortunate but it's a fact of me being the mayor.

"I've been incredibly safe because I'm looked after by dedicated, decent, brave police officers."

He added: "In London we've seen terrorists try to inflict damage, terrorise us and change the way we live our lives.

"We've got to make sure we're always vigilant, never complacent.

"The best response to a terrorist is to make sure we're resilient and we don't allow ourselves to be cowered."

Gendron was described by police as having carried out an act of "racially motived violent extremism".

Police said a white, 18-year-old man in military gear used a helmet camera to livestream the attack on mostly Black shoppers and workers on Saturday.

For at least two minutes, he broadcast the shooting live on the streaming platform Twitch before the service ended his transmission.

Police said he shot 11 Black victims and two who were white before surrendering to police. Later, he appeared before a judge in a paper medical gown and was arraigned on murder charges.

Speaking near the scene of the attack, governor Kathy Hochul said: "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."

It wasn't immediately clear why Gendron travelled to Buffalo to stage the assault. A clip apparently from his Twitch feed, posted on social media, showed him arriving at the supermarket in his car.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the gunman shot four people outside the store, three fatally.

Inside the store, a security guard who was a retired Buffalo police officer fired multiple shots, but a bullet that hit the gunman's bulletproof vest had no effect, the commissioner added.

The gunman then killed the guard before stalking through the store shooting other victims. Upon being confronted by police, the suspect had put the gun to his own neck before officers talked him into dropping the weapon.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told a news conference: "This is the worst nightmare that any community can face, and we are hurting and we are seething right now.

"The depth of pain that families are feeling and that all of us are feeling right now cannot even be explained."

At an earlier news briefing, Erie County Sheriff John Garcia pointedly called the shooting a hate crime.

"This was pure evil. It was straight up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community, outside of the city of good neighbours... coming into our community and trying to inflict that evil upon us," the sheriff said.

Tops Friendly Markets released a statement saying, "We are shocked and deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families."

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