CNN’s Victor Blackwell choked up on air Monday as he reported from the scene of the mass shooting that devastated Buffalo, New York, over the weekend.
“Listen, I was counting in the car, talking with my producer. I’ve done 15 of these,” the anchor and correspondent said of the shooting. “At least the ones that I could 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.”
A white gunman opened fire on a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday, shooting 13 people and killing 10. Most of them were Black. Payton Gendron, 18, is accused of traveling about 200 miles to the area with the intention of killing as many Black people as possible after he had researched local demographics, according to authorities. Gendron was arrested and has pleaded not guilty.
Gendron allegedly purchased a semiautomatic assault rifle legally from a gun shop in upstate New York. A racist online manifesto attributed to Gendron said he modified the weapon using his father’s drill, The New York Times reported.
“We’ll get into a political conversation later, but is this the way we’re supposed to live?” Blackwell asked as he concluded his broadcast. “Are we destined to just keep doing this, city after city? Have we just resigned that this is what we are going to be?”
The mass shooting was one of several in the U.S. over the weekend. In California, a man opened fire during a lunch reception at a Southern California church on Sunday. One person was killed and five were wounded in what’s being described as a politically motivated attack. In Houston, two people were killed and three more were wounded after a shooting at a flea market Sunday. There was also a string of shootings in North Carolina that left seven people injured.