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President Biden will travel to Buffalo today to meet with shooting victims' families

Buffalo Police on scene at a Tops Friendly Market on May 14, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y. At least 10 people were killed after a mass shooting at the store with the gunman in police custody.

President Biden and the first lady will travel to Buffalo on Tuesday to meet with the families of victims of Saturday's deadly shooting at a grocery store, according to the White House.

"They will comfort the families of the 10 people whose lives were senselessly taken in this horrific shooting," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Monday. "And they will express gratitude for the bravery of members of law enforcement and other first responders who took immediate action to try to protect and save lives."

The trip comes three days after a gunman opened fire in a Tops Friendly Market store in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Buffalo, leaving 10 people dead. Following his arrest, the 18-year-old alleged suspect, Peyton Gendron, told officials he was targeting the Black community.

After the shooting, a document allegedly tied to the gunman emerged online. It includes racist, anti-immigrant views and cites the Replacement Theory — a far-right, white nationalist conspiracy theory that baselessly claims that white people in American are being systematically replaced by people of color.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that the Department of Justice is investigating the shooting "as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism."

Over the weekend, Biden said any "racially motivated hate crime is abhorrent to the fabric of this nation."

"Any act of domestic terrorism, including an act perpetrated in the name of a repugnant white nationalist ideology, is antithetical to everything we stand for in America. Hate must have no safe harbor. We must do everything in our power to end hate-fueled domestic terrorism," Biden said in a statement Sunday.

During their trip on Tuesday, the President and first lady will visit the Tops Market before meeting with the family members of the victims, first responders, law enforcement and local leaders, according to a White House official.

Biden is then expected to speak at the community center where he will call on Congress to take action to on gun control in order to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and people with serious mental illness.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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