Buffalo shooting: Payton Gendron’s family blames Covid isolation

Payton Gendron, the white supremacist who allegedly killed 10 people in a racially motivated attack at a Buffalo supermarket, was suffering from “paranoia” due to the Covid-19 pandemic, his relatives said.

On Saturday, the 18-year-old opened fire with a rifle at Tops Friendly Market in the 1200 block of Jefferson Avenue in New York, in a predominantly black neighborhood that authorities believe the suspect specifically targeted.

Of the 13 people shot in one of the deadliest mass shootings of the year, 11 were black.

Sandra Komoroff, a cousin of the suspect’s mother, said she believed Covid-19 and the paranoia surrounding it fueled Gendron’s behavior.

“He was very paranoid about getting covid, extremely paranoid, to the point where his friends were saying he would wear the hazmat suit. [to school],” said Ms. Komoroff, 68, the new york post.

“And then he got Covid just a few weeks ago… He went to family functions with a respirator on. She was not going to get covid at all and then she got covid,” she added.

Ms Komoroff claimed that although her family has been vaccinated against coronavirus infection, Mr Gendron “bought fear of Covid”.

A person attends a makeshift memorial outside the scene of the shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo on May 15.

(AP)

“That’s the only way to say it. And when you’re at home all day on the Internet, you’re missing out on human contact. There are a lot of emotions and a lot of body language that you are not picking up. [as] when you see his face,” he said.

The suspect reportedly planned the attack on the social messaging platform Discord and streamed some of the carnage on the live streaming site Twitch.

A 180-page “manifesto” has been found online, where the suspect refers to racist and white nationalist tropes like the “great replacement” conspiracy theory and credits the anonymous and hateful 4chan community for his radicalization .

The suspect had previously threatened to shoot up his high school and was detained for a mental health evaluation, an anonymous law enforcement official told the Associated Press.

Last year, Gendron had spoken of committing a shooting at Susquehanna Valley Central High School in Broome County, New York, prompting school officials to call state police.

“A school official reported that this very troublesome young man had made statements indicating that he wanted to shoot, either at a graduation ceremony or at some point afterward,” an unidentified official said. the buffalo news.

Gendron drove more than 200 miles on Saturday to carry out the crime. He planned to keep driving and “shoot more black people,” police officials said.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said the suspect came “to take as many black lives as possible.”

The suspect was arraigned on Saturday and charged with first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty.

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