Suspect in Buffalo mass shooting to face judge at felony hearing

Suspect in Buffalo mass shooting to face judge at felony hearing

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NEW YORK — The alleged gunman in the Buffalo mass shooting is expected to face a judge at a felony hearing Thursday. The 18-year-old suspect pleaded not guilty during his arraignment.

It comes as elected leaders on the state and national levels work to prevent future mass shootings, CBS2’s John Dias reported.

Late Wednesday night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that grows national resources to prevent domestic terrorism. Supporters of the bill say it will fill the gaps in intelligence sharing to better track and respond to growing threats.

In New York, officials are fighting back against domestic terrorism.

“The most serious threat we face as a nation is from within, not from the Russians, not from people elsewhere. It’s white supremacism, it’s white nationalism,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

In the wake of the massacre at a supermarket in Buffalo, Hochul signed two executive orders to enhance state gun laws and close loopholes by revising and widening the definition of a firearm to get dangerous guns off the street and trying to make ammunition traceable.


Gov. Hochul issues executive orders in effort to strengthen gun laws

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“The message to New Yorkers is we’re going to continue to protect you,” Hochul said.

The governor is directing state police to more aggressively seize guns from potential shooters under New York’s Red Flag Law and working to increase social media monitoring by law enforcement.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said she’s launching an investigation into the social media companies used by the suspected gunman in Buffalo. The companies include Twitch, 4chan, 8chan and Discord, James said.

Messages by the suspect on Discord date back five months, but retired FBI Agent Katherine Schweit says it’s extremely difficult to find hateful posts online.

“Not only are there legal prohibitions,” Schweit said, “there’s the practicality of saying, ‘How do we collect that?'”

In a March post, the alleged gunman identified the Top’s supermarket as “Attack Area 1,” where he planned to “shoot all blacks.” Later that month, posts show he scoped out the grocery store in person and uploaded hand-drawn maps.

“Unless the American people get their head out of the sand and find a way to be aware of their children, their neighbors and their coworkers, we’re never gonna solve this problem,” Schweit said.

Discord said the suspect was posting to a private, invite-only channel. A small group was ultimately invited to it just half an hour before the shooting. The company said it has an internal team that works to identify and remove extremist content, like hate speech and treats of violence, but the platform has around 150 million monthly users.

Later on Thursday, Rev. Al Sharpton will speak in Buffalo. Sharpton’s organization will by paying for the funerals for the 10 victims. Sharpton will delivery the eulogy at the first funeral on Friday.





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