May 17, 2022
The perpetrator of the Buffalo, New York mass shooting has been identified as 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron.
The shooting took place at 2:30 p.m. at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo on 14 May 2022.
Gendron drove two hundred miles from his home in Conklin, N.Y to 1275 Jefferson Ave, Buffalo, NY 14208, a grocery store in a predominantly Black, low-income area, and open fired on shoppers.
The teenage gunman, who streamed the first two minutes of his rampage on Twitch, killed a total of ten victims and injured three others. The stream was broadcast for two minutes via a GoPro strapped to the perpetrator’s helmet before it was taken down. The video shows Gendron, clad in tactical gear, exiting his vehicle and opening fire on those outside of the grocery store, before shooting through the windows, entering the store, and continuing to fire.
Of the first four victims shot in the parking lot three died and one was left wounded. Thirteen of the victims were Black and two were white.
What is purported to be Gendron’s 180-page manifesto revealed that he is a self-confessed white supremacist who believes in the “Great Replacement” - a far-right conspiracy theory centred around the fear of the extinction of the white race due to immigration of non-white peoples to Western Countries.
Gendron allegedly stated that he was not raised to be racist but became so after being preoccupied by 4Chan threads during 2020 at the height of the Covid Pandemic. He explained that he started off browsing /k/, the weapons board, as he is a “gun nut,” before eventually finding his way to the /pol/ board, (“politically incorrect”) writing:
“There I learned through infographics, shitposts, and memes that the white race is dying out, the blacks are disproportionately killing the whites, that the average black takes $700,000 from tax-payers in their lifetime, and that the jews and the elite were behind this.”
Gendron then listed various neo-Nazi websites, like The Daily Stormer, before continuing: “We are doomed by low birth rates and high rates of immigration. I never even saw this information until I found these sites, since mostly I would get my news from the front page of Reddit. I didn’t care at the time, but as I learned more and more I realized how serious the situation was. Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore, I told myself that eventually I was going to kill myself to escape this fate. My race was doomed and there was nothing I could do about it.”
In the Twitch video, the top of the gunman’s firearm can be seen painted with the number 14- a number significant to White Supremist likely in reference to the fourteen words: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children.”
Gendron’s gun was also scrawled in white paint with the names of other mass shooters who inspired him, including Anders Breivik, a far right domestic terrorist who killed eight people after detonating a bomb at Regjeringskvartalet in Oslo, Norway, and a further sixty nine when he attacked a summer camp on Utøya in 2011.
Among Gendron’s victims were:
Aaron Salter, 55. Aaron was working at Tops supermarket that day as a security guard.
Roberta Drury, 32, who often made trips to the supermarket to pick up groceries for her brother who was recovering from cancer.
Katherine Massey, 72. Massey had written about gun violence in Buffalo just a year earlier, before she too became a victim of a shooting. She was also a member of We Are Women Warriors - a Family & Community Empowerment Group. The group writes: "We Strive to educate by sharing information intended to aide in socio economic, educational, environmental & criminal justice."
Ruth Whitfield, 86, who was in the area to visit her husband at a nearby nursing home when she was gunned down.
Pearly Young, 77, who committed every Saturday to feeding people in Central Park.
Heyward Patterson, 67, a taxi driver who would often drive locals to the store and back and was active in his local church and soup kitchen.
Celestine Chaney, 65, a grandmother of six who had survived cancer only to be gunned down while buying a cake.
Andre Mackneil, 53, who was at the supermarket to get a birthday cake for his son, as it was his birthday.
Geraldine Talley, 62, and Margus D. Morrison, 52.
Of the three wounded, two have since been released from hospital.
Gendron surrendered to police and pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder. Additional charges are expected to be filed. The FBI has deemed and is investigating the shooting as a hate crime as well as a case of racially motivated violent extremism.
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