Buffalo, NY ( Associated Press) — The 18-year-old white man who fatally shot 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket researched local demographics and arrived the day before to conduct a reconnaissance mission intended to kill as many black people as possible. , officials said Sunday.
The racially motivated attack came a year after the gunman was taken to a hospital by state police after threatening his high school, according to officials.
Police said he was not charged with the crime and was out of hospital within a day and a half, but the revelation raised questions about his access to the weapons and whether he was under close surveillance by law enforcement. could have been done.
The buffalo attack inspired mourning and anger in the predominantly black neighborhood around Top Friendly Market. A group of people gathered Sunday afternoon to chant “Black lives matter” and lead mourners, including an 86-year-old woman who visited her husband at a nursing home and a supermarket security guard Yes, both were black.
Dennis Walden-Glenn said, “Someone filled his heart with so much hatred that he would destroy and devastate our community.”
Speaking at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the US Capitol, President Joe Biden said, “We must all work together to remove the hatred that is a stain on America’s soul.” The White House later announced that the president and First Lady would travel to Buffalo on Tuesday to “mourn with the community.”
The buffalo attack was the deadliest of the many shootouts across the country in recent times. Authorities in Milwaukee imposed a curfew after 21 people were injured in three separate shootouts near an entertainment district where thousands gathered for an NBA playoff game on Friday. Three people were killed in another shooting in the Midwest city over the weekend.
On Sunday, two shootings – one at a Houston flea market and another at a California church – killed three people and injured others.
As the country recovered from the buffalo attack, new details emerged about the gunman’s past and Saturday’s stampede, which the shooter livestreamed on Twitch. New York Governor Kathy Hochul of Buffalo-native demanded that technology companies tell her whether they have done “ever humanely possible effort” to ensure that violent material is monitored as soon as it appears.
“If not, I’ll hold you accountable,” she said.
Twitch said in a statement that it “ended the broadcast less than two minutes after the violence began.”
New York State Police said soldiers were called to the high school early last June, then attended by the alleged gunman, Peyton Gendron, for a report that a 17-year-old student had made threatening statements.
A law enforcement officer said on condition of anonymity that Gendron had threatened to shoot at Susquehanna Valley High School in Conklin, New York, at the time of graduation. Officials were not authorized to speak publicly on the investigation.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Gendron had no further contact with law enforcement after his release from the hospital.
“No one called,” he said. “Nobody complained,” said Gramaglia.
Federal law prohibits people from owning guns if a judge has determined they have a “mental defect” or have been coerced into a mental institution—but merely an assessment will not trigger an injunction.
Federal officials were still working to verify the authenticity of a racist 180-page document allegedly written by Gendron detailing his plans for the attack and the reasons for executing it. .
The law enforcement official said federal agents issued multiple search warrants and interviewed Gendron’s parents, who were cooperating with investigators.
Parts of a Twitch video that circulated online showed the gunman firing volley after volley of shots in less than a minute as he raced through the parking lot and then through the store, waiting to be reloaded. He only stayed for a moment. At one point, he trains his weapon on a white man behind the checkout counter, but says “Sorry!” And don’t shoot.
Screenshots from the broadcast showed a racial slur targeting black people scattered on his rifle, as well as the number 14 – possibly referencing a white supremacist slogan.
Officials said he shot a total of 11 black men and two white men on Saturday.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Browne said at a news conference on Sunday, “This man came here with the clear intention of killing as many black people as possible.”
The long statement attributed to Gendron outlined a racist ideology rooted in the belief that the United States should only belong to white people. All others, the document said, were “replacements” that must be terminated by force or terror. The aim of the attack was to intimidate all non-white, non-Christian people and force them to leave the country.
The document states that Gendron researched the demographics to select his target, and chose a neighborhood in Buffalo because it had a high proportion of black residents.
Gendron traveled about 200 miles (320 kilometers) from his home in Conklin, New York to Buffalo, police said.
Gramaglia said he conducted a reconnaissance of the shop and the area on Friday, the day before the shooting.
Gendron surrendered to the police, who confronted him in the supermarket vestibule and convinced him to let go of the rifle he held on his neck. She was charged with murder later on Saturday, presented before a judge in a paper gown.
The buffalo attack was the latest act of mass violence in a country troubled by racial tensions, gun violence and, more recently, hate crimes. It comes a month after 10 people were injured in a shooting on the Brooklyn subway, and just a year after 10 people were killed in a shooting at a Colorado supermarket.
“It’s just too much. I’m trying to testify but it’s too much. You can’t even go to the damn shop in peace,” Buffalo resident Yvonne Woodard told the Associated Press. “It’s just crazy.”
Associated Press reporters Robert Bumstead in Buffalo, Michael Hill in Albany, New York, Travis Lawler in Nashville and Jake Bleiberg in Dallas contributed reporting. Balsamo reported from Washington.