Buffalo shooting suspect once threatened high school, what else is known about the 18-year-old
BUFFALO, N.Y. - New details continue to emerge from authorities about the 18-year-old suspected of killing 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket.
The mass shooting happened Saturday afternoon at Tops Friendly Market, a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. The gunman wore military gear and livestreamed to Twitch with a helmet camera as he opened fire, authorities said. Ten people were killed and three others were wounded.
Speaking at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial service at the U.S. Capitol, President Joe Biden said, "We must all work together to address the hate that remains a stain on the soul of America." The White House later announced that the president and first lady would travel to Buffalo on Tuesday to "grieve with the community."
Meanwhile, the FBI is investigating the shooting as both a hate crime and racially motivated violent extremism. Authorities said 11 victims are Black and two are White.
The suspect has been identified as 18-year-old Payton Gendron of Conklin, New York. He’s been arraigned on a murder charge.
Payton S. Gendron is seen in a booking photo from May 15, 2022 (Erie County District Attorney via FOX News)
Here’s what’s known so far about the suspected gunman:
Buffalo shooting suspect Payton Gendron
Police have identified the gunman as 18-year-old Payton Gendron, of Conklin, New York. Conklin is a small town about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Buffalo, not far from the Pennsylvania state line.
Authorities said Sunday they believe Gendron, before carrying out the shooting, researched the local demographics while looking for places with a high concentration of Black residents, arriving in Buffalo at least a day in advance to conduct reconnaissance.
"This individual came here with the express purpose of taking as many Black lives as he could," Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at a news conference.
A preliminary investigation found Gendron had repeatedly visited sites 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, a law enforcement official told the Associated Press.
BUFFALO, NY - MAY 14: A shooter has been taken into custody after firing on multiple people at the Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street in Buffalo on May 14, 2022. (Photo by Libby March for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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.
Gendron, confronted by police in the store’s vestibule, put a rifle to his neck but was convinced to drop it.
After the shooting, Gendron appeared before a judge in a paper medical gown and was arraigned on a murder charge. The FBI special agent in charge said he's on suicide watch and is separated from all other inmates.
Federal agents interviewed Gendron's parents and served multiple search warrants, the law enforcement official told the AP on Sunday. Gendron’s parents were cooperating with investigators, the official said.
Buffalo shooting manifesto
A 180-page document circulated widely online purportedly written by Gendron seemingly detailed the plot of the shooting and identified Gendron by name as the gunman.
Federal authorities are working to confirm the authenticity of the so-called manifesto and haven’t commented on the document.
According to the Associated Press, the document outlined a racist ideology rooted in a belief that the United States should belong only to White people. All others, the document said, were "replacers" who should be eliminated by force or terror. The attack was intended to intimidate all non-White, non-Christian people and get them to leave the country, it said.
The document said Gendron researched demographics to select his target, and picked a neighborhood in Buffalo because it had a high ratio of Black residents.
The document seemed to draw inspiration from the gunman who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019.
The FBI is investigating the shooting as both a hate crime and racially motivated violent extremism.
BUFFALO, NY - MAY 14: A small vigil set up across the street from a Tops grocery store on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, where a heavily armed 18-year-old White man entered the store in a predominantly Black neighborhood and shot 13 people, killing ten
Buffalo shooting suspect high school threat
Gendron had appeared on the radar of police last year after he threatened to carry out a shooting at Susquehanna High School around the time of graduation, a law enforcement official said Sunday. New York State Police said troopers were called to the Conklin school on June 8, 2021, for a report that a 17-year-old student had made threatening statements.
Police said the student was taken into custody under a state mental health law and taken to a hospital for an evaluation. The police statement did not give the student’s name.
The law enforcement official was not authorized to speak publicly on the investigation and did so on the condition of anonymity.
Buffalo shooting Twitch stream
The gunman livestreamed the shooting to a small audience on Twitch for several minutes before the platform cut off his feed. Twitch is a live streaming service that focuses on video game live streaming, including broadcasts of esports competitions, in addition to offering music broadcasts, creative content, and "in real life" streams.
Twitch confirmed to FOX Television Stations that it removed the stream less than two minutes "after the violence started," but versions trickled onto other platforms.
Portions of the Twitch video circulating online showed the gunman firing volley after volley of shots in less than a minute as he raced through the parking lot and then the store, pausing for just a moment to reload. At one point, he trains his weapon on a white person cowering behind a checkout counter, but says "Sorry!" and doesn’t shoot.
Screenshots purporting to be from the broadcast appear to show a racial slur targeting Black people scrawled on his rifle, as well as the number 14 — likely referencing a white supremacist slogan.
RELATED: Buffalo shooting livestream yanked in under 2 minutes, Twitch says - but critics say not fast enough
"We are devastated to hear about the shooting that took place in Buffalo, New York. Our hearts go out to the community impacted by this tragedy. Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against violence of any kind and works swiftly to respond to all incidents. The user has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content," the company said in a statement.
This developing story was reported from Detroit. FOX 5 NY and The Associated Press contributed.