Police Believe 18-Year-Old Mass Shooting Suspect Sought Out Black Neighbourhood For Attack
| Last updated
Police say an 18-year-old mass shooting suspect researched the area of his attack to target as many black people as possible.
Payton Gendron is accused of travelling more than 200 kilometres from his home town of Conklin, New York, armed with a rifle and military gear before opening fire at Tops Friendly Market, killing 10 people.
It is unclear why he travelled so far from home, but investigators now believe that Gendron had researched the demographics of the area in the lead-up to the attack.
The white teen shot 13 people in total, 11 black people and two white people, according to police and as reported by AP.
Not even a week ago, body cam footage was finally released of cops killing Quadry Sanders, an unarmed black man with his hands up. 15 shots were fired. Today we watch an armed Payton Gendron be brought in alive, after slaughtering 10 people in Buffalo. This is America. I’m tired. pic.twitter.com/q3f8q4pnVk— bri (@brileighh11) May 15, 2022
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown revealed in a press conference that the attack appears to have been racially motivated.
"This individual came here with the express purpose of taking as many Black lives as he possibly could," Mayor Brown said.
Gendron live-streamed the attack on social media platform Twitch, which showed him racing through the parking lot and into the store while he unloaded rounds of bullets in the horrific short clip.
According to AP, he paused once to reload before pointing his weapon at a white person cowering behind the checkout.
In the video he can be heard saying 'sorry' to the store clerk as he withheld fire.
Twitch has released a statement, revealing they cut the transmission 'less than two minutes after the violence started'.
Authorities are now working to confirm the authenticity of a 180-page manifesto that detailed Gendron's killing spree and identified the teen by name as the killer.
According to AP, the manifesto was posted online and touted the racist ideology that the United States should belong only to white people.
The document allegedly describes all other people as 'replacers' who should be eliminated by force or terror.
According to his manifesto, Payton Gendron says his radicalization started in 2020 with the discovery of 4chan, and was solidified by videos of the New Zealand mosque shooter. 2 years. 2 years is all it took to shape the mind of a then 16 years old.— Smirking Wombat (@SmirkingWombat) May 14, 2022
I’ve shared snippets of the manifesto here and there…— Smirking Wombat (@SmirkingWombat) May 15, 2022
But I will not be sharing the full document nor the link (if it hasn’t been taken down by now). Calling this a manifesto is wrong to be honest because it is step by step guide how to do a mass shooting. pic.twitter.com/3wpH7elmB2
According to the manifesto, the slaying was designed to intimidate non-white people and non-Christians, in an effort to push them towards leaving the country.
Preliminary investigations have found Gendron had repeatedly visited sites pushing white supremacist ideologies and race-based conspiracy theories.
He also researched the 2019 mosque shootings in Christchurch and the brutal slaying of dozens on children at a summer camp in Norway in 2011, officials told AP.
The horrific document has fuelled grief and fury within the predominantly Black neighbourhood around the supermarket, where groups of people have since gathered to chant ‘Black lives matter’.
The security guard who attempted to stop a mass shooter in Buffalo is Aaron Salter— The Circle (@TheCirc92826597) May 15, 2022
Aaron Salter attempted to stop the shooter by firing at the shooter, Payton Gendron. However, Gendron was wearing body armor and was not harmed by the shot. Gendron returned fire, killing Salter pic.twitter.com/LjdnXNhz5w
The community is now mourning Gendron's 10 victims, which included an 86-year-old woman who had just visited her husband in a nursing home and a heroic security guard who tried to take the gunman down.
Vigils are now being held to remember them, with local media outlet Buffalo News reporting that Reverend Denise Walden-Glenn has gathered members of the community on Sunday (May 15) to call for an end to racial and gun-related violence.
"Somebody filled his heart so full of hate that he would destroy and devastate our community," she said.
US President Joe Biden has urged for racial unity at a service in Washington, telling those in attendance that 'we must all work together to address the hate that remains a stain on the soul of America', according to AP.