Justin Bieber addressed a mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo yesterday (May 14) during a concert in the New York city.
The pop star performed at the city’s Keybank Center hours after 10 people were fatally shot and three wounded by a gunman in what police have called a “racially motivated hate crime”.
During the concert, Bieber referred to the shooting ahead of airing ‘Hurt’, telling the crowd: “As we know, there’s so much division in this world. So much racial injustice. As you and I both know, racism is evil and it is diabolical.
“But what you and I get to do, we get to be the difference makers. We get to be the people who continue to have the conversations with our friends and our family and our loved ones. We continue to be allies.”
Bieber also held a moment of silence during the show for those killed and affected by the shooting. “To the people who couldn’t stay silent to honor the lives that were so tragically lost, I urge you to ask yourself why?” he captioned a video of the moment on Instagram.
In another video captioned “PRAYING WITH AND FOR BUFFALO”, Bieber was seen talking to his team ahead of the concert. “You guys probably heard what happened – pretty horrible stuff,” he said. “But I’m looking forward to tonight, looking forward to getting on that stage and doing what we do best and having a good time and bringing joy to the city. It’s much needed. So let’s just do that.”
An 18-year-old suspect was taken into custody by police at the scene of the crime, a Tops Friendly Markets store in a predominantly Black neighbourhood in Buffalo. The attack was live-streamed on Twitch by the alleged gunman, who has been identified as Payton S. Gendron.
CNN reports that police had found the suspect had “studied” previous hate attacks and shootings, and had told authorities that he was targeting the Black community. Gendron has been charged with first-degree murder, but pleaded not guilty in court last night.
In other Justin Bieber news, the star released a new song with Don Toliver called ‘Honest’ last month, marking his first official single since last year’s ‘Ghost’.