Justin Bieber Holds Moment of Silence During Buffalo Concert for Victims of Racially Motivated Shooting
By Meredith B. Kile
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Just hours after a gunman killed 10 and wounded three more at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday, Justin Bieber took the stage for the Buffalo tour stop of his Justice World Tour, where he led the crowd in a moment of silence to pay tribute to the victims of the racially motivated shooting.
"As you know, there's been tragedy in the city, but what we're gonna do tonight, is we're gonna honor those people, and I would love if we could just take a moment of silence," he said in clips from the concert posted to Instagram. "That would mean a lot to me."
The 28-year-old singer even called out fans who didn't participate in the tribute, captioning one of his videos, "To the people who couldn’t stay silent to honor the lives that were so tragically lost, I urge you to ask yourself, why?"
"There's so much division in this world," Bieber added in the clips. "So much racial injustice. And as you and I both know, racism is evil and it is diabolical. But what you and I get to do, is we get to be the difference makers. We get to be the people who continue to have the conversations with our friends and our families and our loved ones, who continue to be allies."
However, Bieber also didn't have any hesitation that the Buffalo show must go on, noting, "I'm looking forward to tonight, looking forward to getting onstage and doing what we do best and having a good time and bringing joy to the city," he added. "It's much needed."
At approximately 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, the shooting suspect exited his vehicle at a Tops Friendly Market, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said at a news conference following the tragedy. The suspect was "very heavily armed" and had a tactical helmet and gear, Gramaglia said. Police said he also had a camera and was live-streaming the shooting, which killed 10 and injured three at the scene.
Police said the shooter, who is now in custody, has been charged with murder in what officials are calling a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism.
"This was pure evil," said Erie County Sheriff John Garcia. "This was a straight-up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community."