A teenaged gunman who allegedly murdered 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket planned the attack for months before he drove for three hours to carry out the vile ambush that was believed to be motivated by his hated of black people.
Federal agents interviewed the parents of Payton Gendron, the teenager accused of firing a barrage of 50 shots at the supermarket that killed 10 people, a law enforcement official said on Sunday.
Gendron, 18, of Conklin, NY, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder following Saturday’s attack. He is being held without bail and faces life in prison.
Gendron, who is due back in court on Thursday, is currently on suicide watch and is being held in a separate unit from other inmates, the sheriff of Erie County, John Garcia, said at the news conference Sunday.
Gendron’s parents were cooperating with investigators, the official – who asked to remain anonymous – said.
Police say a rambling text of a 180-page manifesto that Gendron posted before going on his rampage included a plan of the attack which detailed driving several counties away to carry out the shooting at the Tops Friendly Market.
Gendron identified himself as a white supremacist in the document as he explained his fears white people are being replaced by other races, police said.
‘The shooter traveled hours from outside this community to perpetrate this crime on the people of Buffalo, a day when people were enjoying the sunshine, enjoying family, enjoying friends,’ Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at a Saturday evening news conference.
‘People in a supermarket, shopping and bullets raining down on them. People’s lives being snuffed out in an instant for no reason.’
Officials said the rifle Gendron used in the attack was purchased legally but the magazines he used for ammunition were not allowed to be sold in New York.
A preliminary investigation found Gendron had repeatedly visited sites espousing white supremacist ideologies and race-based conspiracy theories and extensively researched the 2019 mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the man who killed dozens at a summer camp in Norway in 2011, the official said.
It wasn’t immediately clear why Gendron had traveled about 200 miles from his Conklin, New York, to Buffalo and that particular grocery store, but investigators believe Gendron had specifically researched the demographics of the population around the Tops Friendly Markey and had been searching for communities with a high number of African American residents, the official said. The market is located in a predominantly Black neighborhood.
Police said Gendron, wearing military gear and livestreaming with a helmet camera, shot, in total, 11 Black people and two white people Saturday in a rampage that the 18-year-old broadcast live before surrendering to authorities. Screenshots purporting to be from the Twitch broadcast appear to show a racial epithet scrawled on the rifle used in the attack, as well as the number 14, a likely reference to a white supremacist slogan.
Among the dead was security guard Aaron Salter – a retired Buffalo police officer – who fired multiple shots at Gendron, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Saturday. A bullet hit the gunman’s armor, but had no effect. Gendron then killed Salter, before hunting more victims.
Shopper Ruth Whitfield, an 86-year-old grandmother, who is also the mother of former Buffalo fire commissioner Garnell Witfiel, and Katherine Massey, who had gone to the store to pick up some groceries, were also was killed, according to the Buffalo News.
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Source: Daily Mail