By Macy Dennon
On May 14 in Buffalo, NY, a white supremacist gunman shot and killed 10 people in a racist attack at the local supermarket, injuring three others. After posting his racist manifesto to target the Black community online, the 18-year-old suspect live streamed the encounter. He currently faces life in prison.
The gunman, Payton S. Gendron, shot 13 people, 11 of whom were black. He entered the store after shooting four people outside of the market. He then had a gun exchange with a security guard; the guard died of his injuries. He shot eight more people inside and then surrendered to police who showed up on the scene. After further investigation, investigators found that the man had planned to continue on to another supermarket. Investigators also found statements about his motive.
Gendron was part of a hate-filled chat room on the social media platform Discord, as well an online forum called 4Chan. He posted about this data collection of how many Black versus White people were in the Tops Market and when approached by security he called it a “close call.” He even wrote about how he was going to kill said security guard and how he had to delay his attack a few times. He also mentioned how he chose Buffalo as his target location because of the dense Black population compared to his other options.
Discord made an official statement addressing the situation, stating, “Our deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families. Hate has no place on Discord and we are committed to combating violence and extremism. We are continuing to do everything we can to assist law enforcement and the investigation remains ongoing.” CNN has also attempted to get a statement and apology from 4Chan, but that has not been forthcoming.
Investigators began searching through a 180-page document that Grendon allegedly posted online. The document attributed the internet for most of his beliefs and personally described himself as a White supremacist and an anti-Semite, as well as a fascist. The suspect did not live within reasonable distance from Buffalo, traveling four hours from Conklin.
In connection with Gendron’s plea of not guilty, his lawyer withdrew the request for a mental health forensic examination. Despite being on suicide watch, Garcia confirmed that Gendron remains in jail without bail.
(Sources: CNN, NY Times, ABC, NBC, The Buffalo News)