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Biden made the remarks during a speech honoring fallen police officers during the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, which came a day after a gunman killed ten people, including a retired police officer, at a grocery store in Buffalo.
“A lone gunman armed with weapons of war and a hate-filled soul shot and killed 10 innocent people in cold blood at a grocery store on Saturday afternoon,” Biden said. “Jill and I, like all of you, pray for the victims and the families and a devastated community. I’ve been receiving updates from my team in the White House that’s in close contact with the Justice Department.
“We’re still gathering the facts, but already the Justice Department has stated publicly that it is investigating the matter as a hate crime, a racially motivated act of white supremacy and violent extremism,” he continued. “As they do, we must all work together to address the hate that remains a stain on the soul of America. Hearts are heavy once again, but our resolve must never, ever waver. No one understands this more than the people sitting in front of me – moms, dads, children, family members— about how those folks in Buffalo feel today when they got the call.
“Jill and I, we know we have some idea how hard it is,” he added. “But I promise you, the day will come when the memory of your loved one – when you open that closet door and you smell the scent, or you go by that park you used to walk in, or you hear that song – the day will come when it will bring a smile to you lips before it brings a tear to your eyes.”
Retired Buffalo Police officer Aaron Salter is being praised as a “hero” by Buffalo’s police department after he was killed at Tops Markets grocery store while trying to protect others from the suspected gunman, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, on Saturday afternoon.
Authorities said Sunday that Gendron likely planned out his racially motivated attack for months, pointing to a roughly 180-page manifesto Gendron posted before going on his rampage.
Gendron identified himself as a white supremacist in his manifesto, detailing at length his fears that white people are being replaced by other races.
Gendron pled not guilty to charges of first-degree murder in court on Saturday evening. He is being detained without bail and faces life in prison. He is due back in court on Thursday for a felony hearing.
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.