CNN Anchor Overcome With Emotion Reporting On The Buffalo Shooting: 'I've Done 15 Of These'

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CNN anchor Victor Blackwell became emotional as he reported outside Tops Friendly Market, where a mass shooting took place in Buffalo, New York. The shooting left 10 people dead in what authorities have said was a racially motivated attack, The Hill reports.

“Victor, it is so hard to hear the raw grief of all of these family members and employees,” co-anchor Alisyn Camerota said. “Just trying to make sense of how their lives have been ruined in the space of a few minutes by a horrible, hateful person.”

Responding to Camerota and overwhelmed with emotion, Blackwell said, “I’ve done 15 of these, at least the ones I can count, and we keep having the conversation about Democrats will say guns, Republicans will say mental health, and nothing will change.”

“And I’ll probably do another one this year,” Blackwell added.

“Family after family, having nowhere to go with their grief, we’ll get into a political conversation later but is this the way we’re supposed to live?” Blackwell said. “Are we destined to just keep doing this city after city? Have we just resigned that this is what we are going to be? I’m going to give it back to you.”

The alleged gunman, Payton Gendron, planned the attack months before entering the grocery store while wearing a helmet and tactical gear. Gendron was taken into custody after the shooting, according to Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia, Raw Story reports.

Gendron published a manifesto online and allegedly drew inspiration from mass shooter Dylann Roof, who killed nine Black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. Gendron also allegedly referenced Brenton Harrison Tarrant, who opened fire on a group of Muslims during their prayer service in New Zealand, killing 51 people, The Hill reports.

Gendron said Tarrant “had radicalized him the most.” He now faces first-degree murder charges and has pleaded not guilty.

One of the Buffalo shooting victim’s families retained well-known civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who said the shooting was an “act of domestic terrorism” on Monday.

“We can’t sugarcoat it. We can’t try to explain it away talking about mental illness. No, this was an act of domestic terrorism perpetrated by a young white supremacist. There is no question about his intentions,” Crump said.