Suspect in Buffalo shooting made hateful statements towards the black community after his arrest

The 18-year-old suspected of opening fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, reportedly made disturbing and hateful statements after his arrest.

Payton Gendron’s statements during his initial questioning showed that he was full of hatred for the black community, police officers told CNN.

On Saturday, a gunman killed 10 people and wounded three others at the Tops Friendly Markets store, which is in a predominantly black neighborhood in Buffalo. Of the 13 people shot, 11 were black, authorities said.

Gendron has been charged with first-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole in New York. He pleaded not guilty in court on Saturday night.

“The evidence we have uncovered so far does not make it clear that this is an outright racist hate crime. It will be prosecuted as a hate crime,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said. “This is someone who has hate in her heart, soul and mind.”

Department officials added that the statements describing the motive and mood were clear and showed hatred of black people.

Investigators say they have already uncovered evidence that Gendron had tried to study previous hate crimes in the US.

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said evidence investigators collected suggested “racial animosity” was behind the attack. County Sheriff John Garcia described the crime and the suspect as “pure evil.”

Payton S Gendron after being indicted on May 14

(Erie County District Attorney/AFP via Getty)

Dressed in tactical gear, the gunman livestreamed Saturday’s attack on the gaming platform Twitch. Authorities say they believe the white suspect drove about 200 miles (320 kilometers) from his home outside Binghamton to the store where the attack occurred.

In 2021, Gendron had threatened to carry out a high school shooting at Susquehanna Valley Central High School in Broome County, New York. But Gramaglia said the threat was not racial in nature.

“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,” the Buffalo News reported, citing an official.

The revelation prompted school officials to call the New York State Police, who detained Gendron under the state’s mental health law for an evaluation.

Saturday’s mass shooting, which sparked anguish and sadness in the community over the loss of life, also sparked anger at how Gendron was able to peacefully surrender, with many arguing the gunman would have been shot to death before being arrested. Black.

Latisha (R), an employee at Tops Market, who called 911 when a gunman opened fire at the store, comforts herself during services at True Bethel Baptist Church

(Getty)

“We don’t know how the hell he got out of here alive,” said Jeffrey Watkins, of the Cold Spring neighborhood. buffalo news. “If a black person had a screwdriver in his hand, he would have been killed.”

Another witness, Katherine Crofton, said the shooter left the store as police yelled at him. “It just stayed there. It was as if he wanted to be shot.”

Gramaglia said the officers responded the way they were trained to do so.

“Any chance we get, and that’s what we teach, to de-escalate a situation … we’re not looking to shoot anybody,” Gramaglia said.

Mayor Byron W Brown said the police action saved many lives. He said the shooter “came here for the express purpose of taking as many black lives as he could.”

“So the Buffalo Police saved a lot of lives yesterday,” he said at an afternoon news conference on Sunday. “Buffalo police responded less than two minutes after this incident began. If it wasn’t for their quick response and brave actions, more lives would probably have been lost yesterday.”

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