The suspect shared his messages on Discord, and later on 4chan. He stated that he had visited Tops Friendly Markets three more times in March to inspect the layout. Also, he was there at specific times when customers were most active. According to the posts, he had planned for his attack in March, but it was delayed several times.
Authorities say that 11 of 13 victims were Black. According to authorities, the gunman who was accused of shooting victims was immediately taken into custody and placed under suicide watch. He pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder charge.
The latest news:
• Presidential visit:Jill Biden, First Lady and President Joe Biden visited Buffalo Tuesday to visit the victims’ families, first responders, and other community leaders. His remarks are expected at 1:05 p.m. ET, and to denounce the shooting as “terrorism motivated and perverse ideology which tears at the soul our nation,” according to a White House official.
• Suspect visited supermarket the day before attack: Gendron was seen at Tops Friendly Market the Friday before the shooting “doing reconnaissance”, said Joseph Gramaglia, Buffalo Police Commissioner. Gramaglia also said that Gendron was there in March.
• According to the manager, Gendron was told by her to quit Friday. ABC News’ operations manager told ABC News she met Gendron at the market Friday evening, and advised him to get out of the way because he was causing trouble for customers. Shonnell Teague said that Gendron, who was wearing Saturday’s camouflage, sat on the bench in front of the market and left without any argument. Teague’s older brother, Rev. Tim Newkirk told The Buffalo News Gendron was “posing like a beggar,” while Teague said he could not panhandle in that situation.
• Attack would have continued elsewhere had suspect not been stopped: Erie County Sheriff John Garcia stated that the suspect also had “target locations” further down the street. Garcia stated that the police found two more rifles and a shotgun within his vehicle. Garcia credited Garcia’s quick response to help prevent any further attacks.
• Writing seen on suspect’s firearms: SME was able to obtain a photograph of the two guns in the car of the gunman. These firearms were not involved in the shooting. The weapons are marked with writing, which includes the words “White Lives Matter” and what appears to be the victim’s name in a Black suspect’s crime.
• Video shows gunman apologizing, sparing one person’s life: SME captured the shoot from video and obtained the footage. It shows the gunman assaulting a man curled on the ground in front of what appears to be a checkout lanes. He shouts “No” and then the shooter says, “Sorry”, and turns his back and walks away. It is unclear what happens next. The gunman may have apologized, but it is not known why the man was spared.
• Threats made after attackByron Brown, Buffalo mayor, told SME Tuesday that two people were arrested for making threats following the attack. He did not detail the threats. Erie County’s District Attorney announced Monday that the 52-year old man was arrested for calling a pizzeria on Sunday and making threats, referencing Tops.
Racial beliefs are shared by suspect in rant
Officials have been looking at the history and racist intentions of the suspect since the incident.
Stephen Belongia was the special agent responsible for the FBI Buffalo field office and stated that “we continue to investigation this case as hate crime,” a federal hate offense, and as an act of violence by a racist extremist.”
This massacre comes after other mass shootings that occurred in recent years, in which authorities claim a White supremacist suspect was driven by racism, such as in El Paso (Texas), Charleston, South Carolina and even as far as Norway or New Zealand.
He claimed that he believed in a great replacement theory. This is the belief that White Americans have been “replaced by” people from other races. This once fringe theory, the replacement theory, has been a hot topic with Tucker Carlson and other prominent conservatives.
Gendron claimed that he was aware of his beliefs “after extreme boredom” in the Covid-19 pandemic and started to sift through 4chan’s “politically incorrect discussion boards,” analysts from the New York Police Department stated in an internal memo, obtained by SME, on Tuesday.
The memo also states that he wrote that his ideas were “from internet”, with “little, to no influence… by people I met,” as well.
Analysts wrote Gendron was likely radicalized by social media platforms and streaming outlets like Twitch and Discord. They warned that they are very popular among the far right and could be used to mobilize violent extremists.
According to officials, Gendron was an undergraduate at Susquehanna Val High School when he was discovered by police. Garcia said that Gendron submitted a high school assignment on murder-suicides and led to an investigation by the state police.
It was referred to by the Susquehanna Valley Central Schools District as an “ominous” reference to murder-suicide via a virtual learning platform that took place in June. Although the threat did not concern other students, an instructor immediately reported it to an administrator, who escalated the matter with New York State Police. A spokesperson for SME stated that the law restricts what school officials are allowed to say.
Garcia stated that the state police reached Garcia’s house around this time last year. Garcia said that Garcia stayed for one and a quarter days at the facility — I don’t know if it was an asylum or mental health center —
Beau Duffy, spokesperson state police spokeswoman said it wasn’t an involuntary obligation that would have prohibited the suspect from buying a weapon.
Gendron posted about his investigation on Discord in January. The investigation ended when Gendron admitted to investigators that he had done stupid things.
Another bad experience was the time I went to the hospital’s ER after I said “murder/suicide”, to an online economics course paper. His claim was that he “got out” because he continued to believe that I was getting out from class. I wrote this down stupidly.
This is what I think explains why I’m still able buy guns. The post states that it was not a joke.
Gendron also claims that Gendron’s mental health evaluation took only 15 minutes after spending hours waiting in the emergency department.
The community mourns the loss of loved ones
According to police, the victims killed Saturday were aged between 32-86.
Many people came to the supermarket in sadness and frustration to show support and pay their respects.
We are part of a larger community here in Buffalo. Phylicia DOVE, a Black and Brown activist, said that if you were a Black or brown person you know someone who was impacted. This is White supremacy’s impact. This wasn’t a mental health case, but someone targeted an impoverished Black community, which was heavily concentrated with low-income Blacks, and took us to our most vulnerable time.”
SME resident Darius Morgan said, “I feel more insulted that anything.” Morgan, a Buffalo native, said that the gunman made him feel insulted. What dare you do to take these from us? This is where we grew up, it’s our home. They came and took it away.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul, the governor of Georgia, has provided $2.8million in support for the victims’ families. According to an office statement, Hochul also announced that she would be contributing $1 million. GoFundMe has created a list with verified fundraisers to help in the wake the tragedy.
SME’s Alaa Ellassar, Nicki brown, Laura Ly and Shimon Prokupecz contributed to this report.