Payton Gendron: What We Know About Suspects in Buffalo Mass Shooting

Ten people were killed Saturday in a mass shooting at a Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York, in what authorities have described as an “evil” racially motivated act of violent extremism and perhaps the worst mass shooting in the city’s history.

Payton Gendron, of Conklin, New York, was indicted Saturday and charged with first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

Here’s everything we know about what happened:

How many victims were there?

According to officials, 10 people were killed in Saturday’s shooting, including a retired Buffalo police officer who worked as a security guard at the store.

Another three people suffered nonfatal injuries, they added in a news conference on Saturday.

Among the victims, 11 are black, police said, and four are store employees.

Have the police arrested a suspect?

Police have arrested Payton Gendron, an 18-year-old white man, and charged with first-degree murder, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Was the Buffalo shooting racially motivated?

Officials are investigating the shooting as an incident of hate and domestic extremism.

“It was pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said Saturday. “It was a racially motivated hate crime by someone outside of our community.”

Police also said they had evidence in their possession suggesting a racial motive for the attack, although they would not confirm media reports that Mr Gendron left a hateful manifesto online.

The shooter reportedly posted a racist manifesto on the notorious online message board 4chan, which contained white supremacist ideas about the “grand surrogate” theory and IQ differences between races.

The document says he chose his target because it had the highest concentration of black people in the area. The New York Times reports. It also details how the shooter became “bored” and radicalized by reading the messageboard during the 2020 Covid lockdowns and cites the Christchurch, New Zealand shooter as inspiration.

What weapon did the suspected shooter use?

The gunman was wearing “tactical gear,” including a military-style rifle and body armor, police said.

A security guard at the Tops store shot and punched the suspected gunman during the mass shooting, but armor stopped the bullet, officials said on Saturday.

Mr. Gendron used a legally purchased rifle equipped with modifications illegal in New York state, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul, who noted such “illegal magazines” could be legally purchased in nearby states like Pennsylvania.

How did the shoot develop?

The suspect arrived at the grocery store after 2:30 p.m. ET and shot four people in the parking lot, killing three before entering the store and firing multiple shots.

Some hid as the shooter walked through the market.

A Tops Markets employee, who identified himself as Will G, saidThe Buffalo News that he was hiding with a group of people in a walk-in cooler at the supermarket when shots rang out in the store.

“I just heard gunshots. Shots and shots and shots,” he told the outlet. “It sounded like things were falling over. … I hid myself. I just hid. I didn’t want to leave this room.”

The person was surrounded by the police after the killing spree in the anteroom of the store. He put his gun to his neck before officers persuaded him to drop his guns and surrender.

Has the suspect been charged?

Payton Gendron was charged with first-degree murder and could face life in prison without parole.

His next court appearance is Thursday, May 19.

How is the investigation going?

Police are now working to secure and investigate a sprawling crime scene involving both the parking lot and the inside of the Tops store in Buffalo.

Agencies such as the Buffalo Police Department, the New York State Police, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are supporting the case.

Additional fees may apply at the federal level.

What do the officers say about the shooting?

Leaders at all levels of government have spoken out after the attack.

“The President was briefed by his Homeland Security Advisor this afternoon on the horrific shooting in Buffalo, NY,” the White House said in a statement. “He will continue to receive updates throughout the evening and tomorrow as more information develops. The President and First Lady pray for the lost and for their loved ones.”

“The nation’s eyes are on Buffalo,” US Representative Brian Higgins said at a news conference on Saturday. “These are full of tears and full of sympathy for the violence and tragedy that was inflicted on good, innocent people.”

“This should not be happening in this communication and in any community in this country,” added Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. “This is the city of good neighbors. We are a loving community. We pray that this will not increase racial tensions. We cannot allow an evil person to share this communication and an evil person to share our question.” Payton Gendron: What We Know About Suspects in Buffalo Mass Shooting

Bobby Allyn

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