Authorities claimed a white teenager who killed ten people in a racist assault in a Black area in western New York was brought into jail last year and given a mental health exam after making a threat at his high school.
On Sunday, more information about the suspect, Payton Gendron, 18, and his assault on a Buffalo grocery, which officials termed as an act of “racially motivated violent extremism,” surfaced, including the earlier threat.
“Make no mistake,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told reporters on Sunday, “the evidence that we have unearthed so far makes no doubt this is an unequivocal racial hate crime that will be prosecuted as a hate crime.”
After shooting 13 persons, 11 of whom were Black, Gendron surrendered to authorities. He has been charged with first-degree murder and has pled not guilty to the crime, which carries a potential sentence of life in prison without parole in New York.
Authorities claimed on Sunday that Gendron drove to Buffalo a day before the assault from his residence several hours away to conduct “reconnaissance” on the region.
He drove to the Tops Friendly Market on Saturday afternoon and began an assault that he aired live on the social media site Twitch, an Amazon. com-owned live streaming service (AMZN.O).
Gendron, dressed in combat gear, started a fire with a semi-automatic weapon that he had lawfully acquired but illegally modified. In his car, authorities discovered two more guns: a rifle and a shotgun.
According to Gramaglia, Gendron first came to the attention of local law enforcement last June, when he was jailed after making a “generalized” threat at his high school.
Gendron was sent to the hospital for a mental health assessment but was discharged after a day and a half.
On Sunday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul told that an inquiry will look at what could have been done to stop the adolescent, who appears to have posted a series of violent, racist ideas online.
She stated, “I want to know what people knew and when they knew it.”
The White House announced that President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden would visit Buffalo on Tuesday.
In a tweet, Biden wrote, “Our hearts are heavy once again, but our determination must not wave; we must work together to eradicate the hate that remains a stain on the soul of our nation.”
A 180-page manifesto thought to have been written by Gendron and disseminated online explained “The Great Replacement Theory,” a racist conspiracy theory claiming white people in the United States and other nations are being replaced by minorities.
Cleaning the pistol and testing the Livestream was among the items on a to-do list for the attack that appeared to have been authored by Gendron.
The Erie County district attorney’s office declined to comment on the materials through a spokeswoman.
A memorial for the victims was held outside the shop on Sunday, with Sharon Doyle, a 55-year-old security officer with the Erie County Public Library, leading a chant of “Black Lives Matter, My Life Matters.” continue reading
“This Tops is for all of us. Last night, I was afraid to even go to Walmart “Doyle explained. “I’m worried about going to work tomorrow.”
- Historic Labour Victory for Amazon Workers in New York City| New Updates!
- In New York, I Quadruple My Food Stamp Benefits at Farmers Markets — and You Can Too |
- In New York, Sam’s Club Accepts Snap Purchases for Scan & Go Transactions|
A pastor performed a somber service for a congregation of worshipers near the True Bethel Baptist Church, including some family members of the victims and others who were present at the time of the shooting. continue reading
Charles Everhart Sr., 65, works at the shop with his grandson Zaire Goodman, 20. Goodman was shot in the neck but managed to escape.
Everhart recalled, “He was pulling the carts back to the shop and he was one of the first to get hit.”
Other racially motivated mass killings in recent years include an attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue in October 2018, which killed 11 people, and the Atlanta spa shootings in March 2021, in which a white man killed eight Asians. continue reading
Under federal law, the incident will be investigated as a hate crime and as an act of “racially motivated violent extremism,” according to the FBI special agent in charge of the Buffalo field office Stephen Belongia.
Hochul, for one, was shocked that the suspect was able to live-stream his attack on social media, which she blamed for fostering a “feeding frenzy” of violent extremist ideas.
She stated, “These channels must be more careful in checking social media information.”
For years, social media and streaming sites like Twitch have struggled to manage violent and extremist content. Twitch says it terminated the feed after less than two minutes.
According to a Twitch spokeswoman, “the user has been indefinitely removed from our service, and we are taking all proper measures, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this material.”