Alleged Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron, quiet hometown stunned after supermarket shooting

Residents of rural Conklin, New York, were stunned Saturday by the news that the gunman charged with the Buffalo supermarket attack was a teenager living in their town.

Payton Gendron (18) is said to have driven more than 200 miles from Conklin to Buffalo in his parents’ car on Saturday to slaughter 10 people in a racially motivated mass shooting that he streamed live on Twitch.

Conklin is a sleepy community of about 5,000 people on the Susquehanna River, just north of the Pennsylvania border in Broome County and 10 miles south of Binghamton. According to Census estimates, 95.7 percent of the population is white.

“It’s disturbing – this kid went to the same school system as me…how can someone with a similar upbringing do this?” said Alexis Sorbello, who was a bartender at Jumbo’s, the only bar in town open late on Saturday.

At the local bar on Saturday, an American flag hung by the pool table and pro wrestling and baseball game on the big screens, but no sign of the shooting hours ago that brought the national spotlight to their small community.

Jumbos, in Conklin, NY
Alexis Sorbello, the bartender at Jumbo’s city’s only open bar, called the incident “disturbing.”
Jumbos
Payton Gendron
Payton Gendron was arrested on a charge of first degree murder.
AP

Sorbello, who described the community as Trump country, said she first heard of the shooting from a local volunteer firefighter.

Construction worker Fran said he knew few details of the shooting but was not shocked by the news.

“It can happen here because the society we live in is unstable,” he told The Post.

Of the city, he said many people work at a nearby distribution center for Dick’s Sporting Goods.

“There are job openings here for every hike and every type of person,” Fran said.

Police officers outside Payton Gendron's house.
Police officers at the home of alleged Buffalo mass shooter Payton Gendron in Conklin, NY.
REUTERS
Jumbos
Jumbo’s bar in Conklin, NY, the birthplace of Gendron.
Zach Williams
Police at Payton Gudnren's house
Three New York State troopers were stationed outside Payton Gundren’s home.
REUTERS

A woman in her thirties who declined to be named said she knew Gendron’s family, who she described as “wonderful” people active in the community.

Gendron’s mother was “super involved” with the local school, she said, adding that her son attended birthday parties for Payton Gendron’s younger brother.

“They were fine. They were fantastic,” she told The Post. “They’re close. His mom was super involved with the PTA [and] helped me with a few different things, like we were both on board. So when I heard the news today, I was at work and it doesn’t make any sense.”

Gendron was arrested on charges of first-degree murder after shooting 13 people — 11 of them black — after posting a disjointed, white supremacist manifesto online detailing the shooting step-by-step.

Buffalo Tops Mass Shooting
Payton Gendren allegedly shot 13 people, 11 of whom were black.
REUTERS
Buffalo Tops Mass Shooting
Payton Gendren reportedly posted a manifesto of white supremacists on the internet.
AP

†[I] never thought, literally never thought from what I met a few years ago that one day he would grow up to be that kid,” she said.

She said Payton Gendron is one of three brothers who lived in the city with their mother and father, she said. He seemed like a “nice sports boy” who played baseball, she added.

Three New York State troopers were posted outside the Gendrons’ two-story garage home. The house is at the end of a quiet road with large single family homes with manicured lawns, but was closed during the police investigation.

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