Supermarket Buffalo Mass Shooting: What We Know About the Alleged Shooter?

The 18-year-old suspect, who allegedly shot and killed 10 people Saturday afternoon at a supermarket in the heart of a black community in Buffalo, appears to be motivated by extremist beliefs and has a history of violent threats, authorities say. †

Payton S. Gendron allegedly traveled more than three hours from Conklin, New York, to the Tops Friendly Market, according to law enforcement officials to carry out the attack in a predominantly black community.

He was wearing military uniforms, body armor and a tactical helmet when he shot four people in the Tops supermarket parking lot around 2:30 p.m. and then shot nine people inside before surrendering to authorities.

He was confronted by a retired Buffalo police officer who worked for security who shot the suspect but to no effect due to the suspect’s body armor, police said.

Grendon was charged on one count of first degree murder to which he pleaded not guilty. According to the Eric County District Attorney’s office, he should be held without bail.

online writings

Law enforcement sources told ABC News that the alleged gunman’s extremist beliefs have been cultivated online and he appears to have expressed racially motivated extremist views in his online posts.

A 180-page document believed to have been posted on the Internet by the suspect is a hate-filled screed fixated on the notion of “replacement theory,” a white supremacist belief that nonwhites will eventually replace whites because they have higher birth rates. , the authorities said.

Gendron, the alleged author of the document, according to authorities uses racist and anti-Semitic tropes throughout the document, which he appears to have posted before carrying out the alleged attack.

Among the posts investigators are looking at include online writings praising other mass shooters who were also motivated by racist ideology, including South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof, New Zealand mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant and Pittsburgh Tree synagogue shooter. Life Robert Gregory Bowers.

In the document, the suspect also appears to outline a plan for his alleged attack, including time and place, and writes that he chose this location because there is a high concentration of black people in the area.

The suspect’s history

Neighbors of the Gendron family told ABC News that the suspect is a former student at Broome Community College, part of the State University of New York college system — a detail confirmed by a school spokesperson.

Police in Broome County, New York, were called by a local high school in June 2021 after reporting that Gendron had threatened a shooting during graduation or during that time, law enforcement sources familiar with the case confirmed to ABC News. Following a police investigation, no charges were brought against Gendron, who received a mental health evaluation and counseling following the incident.

A home associated with Gendron was searched by the FBI and New York State Police, law enforcement officers and eyewitnesses confirmed ABC News.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul told New York City ABC station WABC that Gendron had legally purchased the AR-15 assault rifle allegedly used at the grocery store firing at a gun store in his native Broome area.

But the “legally acquired weapon” was modified and became “illegal,” Hochul said.

“It’s mostly the illegal weapons and magazine capacity expansions that are causing a lot of trouble in New York City and all the way here to Buffalo,” she added.

What’s next

Gendron was arraigned Saturday night in Buffalo City Court on charges of first degree murder, according to a statement from the Erie County District Attorney’s office.

The suspect entered a plea of ​​not guilty. If convicted, he faces a maximum prison sentence of life without the possibility of parole, according to the Public Prosecution Service.

But according to Erie County District Attorney John Flynn, further charges against Gendron are possible.

“My office is working closely with the US Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners on potential terrorism and hate crimes. This is an active investigation and additional charges may be filed,” Flynn said in a statement.

The US Department of Justice is also investigating the shooting as “a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

“The Justice Department is committed to a thorough and prompt investigation into this shooting and to seek justice for these innocent victims,” Garland said.

Gendron’s next court hearing is scheduled for May 19 and will remain in custody, where he is being held without bail, according to the DA’s office.

Aaron Katersky, Bill Hutchison, John Santucci, Laura Romero and Olivia Rubin of ABC News contributed to this report.

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