Payton Gendron, 18, who is accused of murdering 10 people in a ‘racist hate crime ‘ after firing a barrage of 50 shots at a supermarket in upstate New York reportedly conducted ‘reconnaissance’ at the store before carrying out his attack
Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron would have continued his rampage had he not been stopped by cops, and planned to drive to a second store to target black people.
Gendron shot and killed ten people in the Tops store in Buffalo on Saturday afternoon.
He was brought down by police after threatening to kill himself and is now in custody on murder charges.
Buffalo Police Chief Joseph Gramaglia told ABC that he planned to carry on with the shooting had he not been interrupted.
‘His plans were to drive out of here and continue driving down Jefferson Avenue looking to shoot more black people and possibly go to another store location,’ he said.
Gendron allegedly opened fire at the supermarket on Saturday afternoon, killing 10 people and injuring three others, before he surrendered to police outside the store. Eleven of the shooting victims are black.
The teen, who claims to identify as a white supremacist, issued several ‘clear and hate-filled’ statements about his motive and state of mind following his arrest, and admitted that he was targeting the black community when he carried out the massacre, an official confirmed to CNN.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn revealed Sunday night that officials are considering charging Gendron with domestic terrorism.
‘We’re looking at potentially multiple additional charges to be filed,’ Flynn told Fox News. ‘We are looking at domestic terrorism charges, we are looking at hate crime charges, there’s actually a charge in New York State called domestic terrorism motivated by hate. So, that charge right there encompasses the actual terrorism and the hate charge together, all in one charge.’
Gendron, 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.
Payton Gendron is shown in court on Saturday after shooting dead ten people in a racist attack at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo
Police say the teen admitted that he was targeting the black community when he carried out the massacre. FBI agents are pictured executing a search warrant and Gendron’s house on Sunday
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn revealed Sunday night that officials are considering charging Gendron with domestic terrorism
The alleged killer, who is due back in court on Thursday, is currently on suicide watch after he ‘put the gun under his chin’ as though to shoot himself following Saturday’s attack. Officers managed to ‘talk him down’ and arrest him. Gendron is being held in a separate unit from other inmates.
‘He’s on direct observation from our deputies [with] video surveillance,’ Erie County Sheriff John Garcia explained. ‘He will be treated as everyone else is treated within the Erie County holding center — humanely, with respect. And he will receive the correctional help and the mental help that is needed.’
Police believe Gendron planned the attack for months before driving three hours to Buffalo to carry out the vile ambush that authorities are calling an act of ‘violent extremism’ motivated by race.
Shonnell Teague, manager of Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, claims suspected gunman Payton Gendron visited the store on Friday while disguised as a homeless person.
‘He was acting like he was homeless and needed change,’ Teague told The New York Daily News on Sunday. ‘He really was checking out the store.’
Shonnell Teague (pictured), manager of Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, claims suspected gunman Payton Gendron visited the store on Friday while disguised as a homeless person. She claims he ‘acted like he needed change’ but was really surveying the store
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia confirmed the allegations, noting Gendron, 18, who lives nearly 200 miles away from Buffalo made multiple stops in the area the day before the massacre.
‘He was in the Buffalo area, he was right in this area the day before,’ Gramaglia said at a news conference Sunday. ‘We have identified some of the locations that he was at. We know he did some reconnaissance on the area and the store.’
Investigators, while executing a search warrant at his home on Sunday, also found evidence that the teen had been ‘studying’ previous hate crimes and shootings before he carried out his own attack.
‘The evidence that we have uncovered so far makes no mistake that this is an absolute racist hate crime. It will be prosecuted as a hate crime,’ Gramaglia said. ‘This is someone who has hate in their heart, soul and mind.’
It was also revealed Sunday that Gendron was not on law enforcement’s radar – despite having underwent a mental health evaluation last summer after he threatened to open fire at his high school.
Police were called to Gendron’s high school in Conklin, New York, located near the Pennsylvania border, on June 8, 2021 after he made a threatening statement, authorities revealed during a press conference Sunday.
‘The state police responded. They investigated. They interviewed the subject. And they felt at the time it was appropriate to have that individual brought in for a mental health evaluation,’ Gramaglia explained.
Gramaglia said the threat was not racist and not directed at a specific person or place.
However, an unnamed law enforcement source told The Associated Press Gendron, then-17, had threatened to shoot up Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna High School around graduation.
Gendron was released after spending a day-and-a-half in the hospital. Gramaglia said that after his discharge, Gendron had no further contact with law enforcement.
‘Nobody called in,’ the police commissioner said. ‘Nobody called any complaints.’
New York Governor Kathy Hochul told ABC News on Sunday that an investigation would focus on what could have been done to stop Gendron, since he had advertised his views online and had been on authorities’ radar.
Teague, who was in the store during the attack, detailed the horrors of Saturday’s massacre on her Facebook page
‘I want to know what people knew, and when they knew it,’ she said, adding the probe would be ‘calling upon our law enforcement as well as our social media platforms.’
President Joe Biden will travel to Buffalo on Tuesday to meet with the families of mass shooting victims, the White House confirmed to CNN. The president also issued condolences to the families on Sunday and said he was receiving regular updates from his team about the massacre.
‘We’re still gathering the facts, but already, the Justice Department has stated publicly that it’s investigating the matter as a hate crime, racially-motivated act of white supremacy and violent extremism,’ Biden said.
‘As they do, we must all work together to address the hate that remains a stain on the soul of America. Our hearts are heavy once again, but our resolve must never waver.’
Gendron allegedly murdered 10 people in a ‘racist hate crime ‘ at a supermarket in Buffalo, NY on Saturday. People are seen outside the store after the shooting
Suspected gunman Payton Gendron is taken into policy custody outside the Tops in Buffalo on Saturday
Buffalo police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia revealed during a press conference Sunday that Gendron had previously made a non-specific shooting threat while in high school
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is said on Sunday that an investigation would focus on what could have been done to stop Gendron, since he had advertised his views online and had been on authorities’ radar
Authorities said Gendron drove to Buffalo from his home several hours away to launch the attack, which he broadcast in real time on social media platform Twitch, a live video service owned by Amazon.com.
He then opened fire at the Tops grocery store using a gun that he legally purchased but had illegally modified with a high-capacity magazine.
Teague, who was in the store during the attack, detailed the horrors of Saturday’s massacre on her Facebook page.
‘My daughter and her boyfriend and I were standing right there and came back inside to get snacks, and they (were) at the register when the guy came in shooting,’ she wrote.
‘I just want to thank God for our lives. And my prayers go out to all the victims and their families.’
Investigators are reportedly working to assemble a timeline of Gendron’s activities before the attack. Despite confirming that he surveyed the store on Friday, Commissioner Gramaglia has declined to detail the gunman’s interactions ahead of the attack, which was first called into 911 around 2.30pm.
Gramaglia did confirm that in addition to the AR-15 that Gendron fired during attack, officials discovered a rifle and shotgun in his vehicle. Those weapons were not used in the massacre.
He also revealed that law enforcement personnel searched the accused gunman’s Conklin home on Sunday, as well as a shed on the property. Pictures taken at the scene show FBI agents collecting and photographing evidence from the property.
Federal agents also interviewed Gendron’s parents, Paul and Pamela, who are said to be cooperating with investigators.
‘The state police and FBI are at his house,’ Gramaglia told The New York Daily News. ‘They’ve spoken with the parents. From what I’ve been told, they’re absolutely distraught, devastated, cooperating.’
FBI agents are seen removing evidence at Gendron’s home in Conklin, NY on Sunday
FBI agenst are seen photographing evidence at Gendron’s parents’ home in Conklin, New York
Law enforcement personnel searched the accused gunman’s Conklin home on Sunday, as well as a shed on the property.
People leave messages at a makeshift memorial near a Tops Grocery store in Buffalo, New York, on May 15, 2022, the day after a gunman shot dead 10 people
People mourn near a Tops Grocery store in Buffalo, New York, on May 15, 2022, the day after a gunman shot dead 10 people
Messages, ballons and flowers are pictured at a makeshift memorial near a Tops Grocery store in Buffalo, New York, on May 15, 2022, the day after a gunman shot dead 10 people
Gov. Hochul said Sunday she was dismayed that the suspect managed to live-stream his attack on social media, which she blamed for hosting a ‘feeding frenzy’ of violent extremist ideology.
‘The CEOs of those companies need to be held accountable and assure all of us that they’re taking every step humanly possible to be able to monitor this information,’ she told ABC News. ‘How these depraved ideas are fermenting on social media, it’s spreading like a virus now.
Hochul also slammed Twitch for allowing a ‘military-style execution’ and ‘the massacre of innocent people’ to be ‘viewed by other people.’
‘There’s not enough monitoring because clearly this information was out there. Don’t they have a responsibility? I know it’s a huge, vast undertaking, but these companies have a lot of money. They have resources. They have technology. Key words show up, they need to be identified, someone needs to watch this, and to shut it down the second it appears,’ she said.
‘And short of that, we will protect the right to free speech, but there is a limit. There is a limit to what you can do and hate crime is not – hate speech is not protected.’
Social media and streaming platforms like Twitch, which said it removed the stream after less than two minutes, have grappled with controlling violent and extremist content for years.
‘The user has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content,’ a Twitch spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters.
Police say the rambling text of a 180-page manifesto that Payton Gendron (pictured here) posted included a plan of the attack which detailed driving several counties away to carry out the rampage the Tops Friendly Market
Buffalo community members create a make-shift memorial outside the Tops Friendly Market in honor of the 10 people killed by Gendron during Saturday’s massacre
Black Lives Matter protesters gathered outside the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, NY on Sunday
Law enforcement remained stationed outside the supermarket on Sunday while the FBI continued processing the scene
Police said Sunday they are also investigating a 180-page manifesto that Gendron reportedly posted before going on his rampage, which included a plan to drive several counties away to carry out the shooting.
Gendron identified himself as a white supremacist in the document, explaining his fears that white people are being replaced by other races. A preliminary investigation found Gendron repeatedly visited websites 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, an official said.
It wasn’t immediately clear why Gendron had traveled about 200 miles to Buffalo and targeted this particular grocery store, but investigators believe Gendron had specifically researched the demographics of the population around the grocer and had been searching for communities with a high number of black residents.
Police said Gendron, wearing military gear and livestreaming with a helmet camera, shot a total of 11 black people and two white people in Saturday’s rampage 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.
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.
Robert Donald, the owner of Vintage Firearms in Endicott, N.Y., told The New York Times on Sunday that he recently sold a Bushmaster assault weapon to the man accused of the massacre.
Donald, 75, who primarily sells collectible firearms, said the teen bought the gun without leaving an impression and was shocked when he got a call from investigators regarding Gendron.
Retired Buffalo Police Department cop Aaron Salter, pictured right, has been named as the first victim of the tragedy. He was working as a store security guard and shot Gendron, who returned fire and killed Salter
Ruth Witfield, 86, the mother of former Buffalo fire commissioner Garnell Witfield was also killed in the murder spree
Pearly Young, 77, who fed needy residents in Buffalo’s Central Park neighborhood for 25 years, was shot and killed Saturday
Roberta Drury, 32, who was killed in the shooting while she was shopping for dinner, was described as ‘very vibrant’ by her sister Amanda. ‘She always was the center of attention and made the whole room smile and laugh’
Katherine Massey was one of the victims killed in the grocery store shooting in Buffalo on Saturday. She is pictured in October 2011
Celestine Chaney, 65, who was at the supermarket to buy strawberries for shortcake, was killed during the shooting, her son, Wayne Jones, 48, confirmed. Chaney is pictured above with her granddaughter Kay Savvy
Heyward Patterson, who would often give people rides to and from the supermarket and help them carry their groceries, was also among the 10 people fatally shot, according to Patterson’s great niece Teniqua Clark
A law enforcement personnel stands outside the home of Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect Payton Gendron in Conklin, New York a day after the teen allegedly went on a deadly rampage that killed 10 people
Payton Gendron, 18, who is accused of fatally shooting 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday lives at this home in Conklin, New York with his parents
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
Seven of of the victims have been named by family members by Sunday, including security guard Aaron Salter – a retired Buffalo police officer – who fired multiple shots at Gendron. 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 Whitfield, was killed while shopping for groceries.
She had just visited her husband in a nursing home and decided to stop at the Tops on her way home to get something to eat, WGRZ reported.
Katherine Massey, 72, had gone to the supermarket to do her grocery shopping when she was fatally shot. Her brother was supposed to pick her up after she finished her errands.
Massey was a civil rights and education advocate. Former Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant, who had known Massey for over 20 years, told The Buffalo News that she ‘did everything she could to lift up Buffalo’s black community.’
Last year, Massey wrote a letter calling for more federal regulation of firearms, citing both urban street violence and mass shootings.
Pearly Young, 77, who fed needy residents in Buffalo’s Central Park neighborhood for 25 years, was shot and killed during the massacre, 11Alive reporter Madison Carter tweeted.
Young, originally of Alabama, moved to New York as a young adult and married a pastor.
She had gone to lunch with her sister-in-law on Saturday and was dropped off at the grocer afterwards. Her son was expected to pick her up, but when he arrived at the store, the scene was in total chaos.
Her relatives told Alabama.com Young will be remembered for her love for God and her family.
Celestine Chaney, 65, who was at the supermarket to buy strawberries for shortcake, was killed during the shooting, her son, Wayne Jones, 48, confirmed.
She was also picking up some shrimp her husband, Raymond.
The loving mother and grandmother-of-six was at the supermarket with her older sister, JoAnn Daniels.
Daniels told The Buffalo Times she never saw Gendron, but heard the sounds of his assault rifle.
She and Chaney were trying to flee when the 65-year-old was shot.
‘She fell and I thought she had got up and was behind me, but she wasn’t behind me,’ Daniels recalled.
Roberta Drury, 32, was at the store to buy groceries for dinner when she was fatally shot, her sister Amanda Drury, 34, said.
She had moved to Buffalo from the Syracuse, New York, area to be with her older brother after his bone marrow transplant, her sister, Amanda Drury, told Reuters.
Drury helped him with his bar, The Dalmatia, and with his family.
‘She was vibrant and outgoing, could talk to anyone,’ Amanda said.
Heyward Patterson, who would often give people rides to and from the supermarket and help them carry their groceries, was also among the 10 people fatally shot, according to Patterson’s great niece Teniqua Clark.
He earned the nickname ‘Jitney’ because of his help at the grocer.
He was also a church deacon and would welcome parishioners and escort them to their seats.
‘He would give the shirt off his back,’ his wife, Tirzah Patterson, told The Buffalo News. ‘That’s who he is. He wouldn’t hurt anybody. Whatever he had, he’d give it to you.’
Following the shooting, the entire city of Buffalo was left in a state of shock – but those who knew Gendron said there were a host of warning signs that the teen was falling into extremism and hateful beliefs.
Officials at the Susquehanna Valley High School brought in New York State Police to investigate Gendron in June of 2021 after he made statements that he would shoot fellow students.
A year later he ended up shooting 13 people – 10 of them fatally – during an attack motivated by his hatred for black people at a Top Market supermarket in Buffalo.
‘A school official reported that this very troubled young man had made statements indicating that he wanted to do a shooting, either at a graduation ceremony, or sometime after,’ a government source told the Buffalo News.
After police looked into the account, Gendron was referred for mental health evaluation and counseling.
Classmates said that he often acted strangely at times and espoused extremist views on politics.
Last year, one former student recalled, Gendron wore a hazmat suit to school for a week. She believed it had something to do with protecting himself from the coronavirus, but she didn’t rule out the fact that he was making a joke.
‘It was the most extra thing that I ever saw him do,’ a former classmate who asked not to be named said.
There were other indications of Gendron’s fragile mental state.
During a class exercise in political class in which the students created their own countries with the government of their choice, Gendron’s pick was an autocratic regime that the classmate described as ‘Hitler-esque.’
‘His views were extreme,’ the student said. ‘You could pick any form of government that you wanted and he picked a totalitarian government.’
The classmate recalled that he almost collided with her head on in his car, but she brushed it off at the time to careless driving.
‘He was definitely into video games – shooter games,’ she said.
‘It’s so mind-blowing to think that it could have been us,’ she said. ‘I know he had his manifesto, but what if he decided to do a test run on us.’
For the most part he was quiet, but she said he would ‘smile weirdly’ when he spoke to people. She said she didn’t remember him every having a girlfriend.
Gendron is one of four boys born to Paul and Pamela Gendron, two civil engineers with the state who live in Conklin, NY, three and half hours south of Buffalo. Paul coached his kids in the town soccer league and at least one neighbor found him ‘strange.’ His mother appeared conceited, locals said.
Payton traveled from his home in Conklin, New York, to carry out the atrocity. He lived there with his father Paul (pictured unpixellated) and mom Pamela, pictured in red, both of whom are engineers for the New York Department of Transportation
Payton Gendron, 18, far left, holds a harmless facsimile to the automatic rifles that he used to murder 10 people in a Buffalo supermarket
Payton and his mom, Pamela Gendron, enjoy a day out at the amusement park. Neighbors say that outwardly they appeared to be the perfect family
Payton Gendron, left rear, dining on steam crabs with his brothers and father, who works as a civil engineer for New York State
‘He’s from this pristine family,’ a schoolmate said. ‘They have everything together, they were just perfect.’
In photos posted by his mother on Facebook, Payton Gendron appears to tower over his father and others.
‘He was 6’1’ or 6’2” his schoolmate said. ‘He was a big guy.’
The family appears to be a tight-knit suburban family that played LaserTag together, when to Autumn festivals, the beach and dined together in restaurants.
Neighbors said they were odd.
‘To be honest, the mother was kind of snooty,’ a local parent who asked not to be named said. ‘Like she was better than everyone else. The father was strange. Like when you meet someone and they just seem off.’
A neighbor recalled him bringing home a human-sized Brontosaurus that he build for a school project. School records show that he was a good student and made high honors in his senior year, scoring higher than 92 percent in all his classes.
Facebook photos show that Gendron went on a few college tours and spent some time enrolled in Broome County Community College.
A college spokeswoman told he Buffalo News that he was no longer enrolled.
‘They have a really nice family,’ neighbor Nancy Santucci said. ‘They seem like regular people. In a million years I never would think that anyone from this neighborhood would drive to Buffalo to carry out a racially motivated shooting.’
‘I’m just shocked,’ she said.
EXCLUSIVE: Sister of victim of Buffalo gunman calls for ‘killer’ to be locked up for 80 years with a black cell mate ‘for murdering 72-year-old and nine others in his racism supermarket killing spree’
The sister of a defenseless elderly woman allegedly shot dead by white supremacist Payton Gendron wants to see him locked up for the next 80 years – with a black cell mate.
Devastated Barbara Massey said her first instinct was to call for the death penalty for ‘evil’ Gendron, 18, who allegedly went on the rampage at Tops Friendly Grocery in Buffalo Saturday afternoon, killing her sister Katherine, 72, and nine others.
But she now says spending the rest of his life behind bars with an African American would be a more fitting punishment for avowed racist Gendron, who detailed his hatred of blacks and Jews in a rambling 180-page manifesto.
‘I only saw his face for the first time today when it popped up on my phone,’ Massey, 64, told DailyMail.com, fighting back tears.
‘At first I wanted to kill him, to choke him out then bring him back and choke him out again. But that’s not me.’
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Barbara Massey wants to see Payton Gendron, 18, who is accused of killing 10 people at Tops Friendly Grocery in Buffalo Saturday, including her sister Katherine, 72, locked up for the next 80 years – with a black cell mate
Katherine Massey, 72, was gunned down in a shooting that claimed the lives of 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday
Massey said her sister Katherine was dropped off at Tops Friendly Grocery by their brother moments before the gunman pulled up outside and started shooting
‘I thought about it all night and I would like him to be in there for 70, 80 years. I want him to wake up every day with a black person or a Jewish person there next to him and have to deal with that.
‘These are your neighbors for the rest of your freaking life. You need to sit here boy. I just hope they don’t give him something to hang himself with. He shot my sister in the face, I can’t get over that.’
Massey said Katherine was dropped off at Tops Friendly Grocery by their brother Warren moments before Gendron of Conklin, New York allegedly pulled up outside and started shooting.
When Katherine didn’t answer her phone, Massey raced down to the police cordon and begged cops to let her past to search for her beloved sibling.
When a bystander offered to show her shocking social media clips showing several of the victims slumped dead in the parking lot, she refused to watch.
‘I couldn’t look at that. I was still holding out hope. I just kept begging the police, please let me find my sister,’ Massey said.
Massey said Katherine was dropped off at Tops Friendly Grocery by their brother Warren moments before Gendron of Conklin, New York allegedly started shooting
Massey said when Katherine didn’t answer her phone, she raced down to the police cordon and begged cops to let her past to search for her beloved sibling
Katherine’s death was confirmed on Sunday, Massey said
As the hours ticked by she feared the worst but confirmation of Katherine’s death only came Sunday when a coroner confirmed a woman matching her description was found with a fatal gunshot to the head.
‘The coroner was wonderful, she even cried,’ Massey added.
‘She said can you describe Kat and I said, she’s small, she black but she has blue eyes, she’s fair skinned. Her hair is mostly grey, it’s cut short. She may have a little scar under her breast. She called me back 20 minutes later, it was her.’
Katherine and Massey grew up together on Cherry Street in central Buffalo, the same road where their extended family have lived for the past seven decades.
Katherine worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield for 40 years, and was never married, lavishing kindness instead on her friends, family and grand nephews and nieces, Massey explained.
After retiring ten years ago, she turned her attention to sprucing up their block, mowing the grass, cleaning up trash and successfully campaigning for new trees and road improvements.
She also contributed to the neighborhood newspaper, the Challenger – including penning an editorial about the menace of gun crime and the need for tougher controls on firearms.
‘Kat was the sweetest little thing. The heaviest her weight has ever been was 112 pounds,’ added Massey.
‘She was very intelligent, she would write letters, she would volunteer at City Hall. She would go to the Family Dollar and buy something for everybody. She was the glue. She was everything to us. If you did something for Kat she would never forget it.’
‘If I know my sister, she would have said to this guy, c’mon baby, put that gun down. That’s why I think he shot my sister. We can’t even have an open casket because he shot her in the head.’
Massey said her own family is multi-cultural and she struggles to understand how anyone – let alone a teenager – could hate another race so badly he was willing to kill’
Family members of victims from the Tops market shooting are consoled during services at True Bethel Baptist Church on Sunday a day after 10 people were shot in Buffalo
Massey said her own family is multi-cultural and she struggles to understand how anyone – let alone a teenager – could hate another race so badly he was willing to kill.‘
‘Our family is a rainbow, my husband is Indian. My niece’s boyfriend is Italian. We don’t do race,’ she told DailyMail.com.
‘Someone has taught it to him. I know there’s a lot of crazy people but he’s 18. You don’t just wake up and be prejudiced. He still has milk on his breath.’
Gendron has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder following Saturday’s attack. He is being held without bail and faces life in prison.
Due back in court Thursday, the teen 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.