Who is Payton Gendron? Man with N-word scrawled on his rifle guns down 10 at Buffalo supermarket
The shooting took place in a predominantly Black neighborhood, and a majority of the victims were Black
BUFFALO, NEW YORK: Ten people were shot dead and three others wounded in a “racially motivated” mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday, May 14. Law enforcement identified the shooter as Payton Gendron, 18, who drove from 'hours away' in Conklin, New York, to the Tops market on Jefferson Avenue. The shooting took place in a predominantly Black neighborhood.
Eleven of the victims were Black and two of them were White. “We are investigating this incident as both a hate crime and a case of racially-motivated violent extremism,” said Stephen Belongia, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo field office said during a press conference. Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said, "This was pure evil. It was a straight-up racially motivated hate crime."
Gendron arrived at the market at around 2:30 pm. He “was very heavily armed. He had tactical gear on. He had a tactical helmet on,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said. He confirmed that Gendron even had a camera to livestream the shooting.
The gunman first opened fire in the parking lot, killing three people and injuring one. He then entered the store, where a longtime security guard and former Buffalo cop tried to stop him. However, the guard's bullet could not pierce the attacker's armor. The shooter then shot the security guard dead.
After working his way through the rest of the store, Gendron was confronted by Buffalo cops, who talked him into surrendering. At one point, he had reportedly put his gun to his own neck. Erie County District Attorney John Flynn vowed to arraign the attacker on a charge of first-degree murder “within the hour". “I don’t want to give him any celebritism right now. I don’t want to do anything that puts any attention on him,” Flynn said.
In a statement on Twitter, Gov. Kathy Hochul said, "I am closely monitoring the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo. We have offered assistance to local officials. If you are in Buffalo, please avoid the area and follow guidance from law enforcement and local officials."
I am closely monitoring the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo. We have offered assistance to local officials. If you are in Buffalo, please avoid the area and follow guidance from law enforcement and local officials.— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) May 14, 2022
Who is Payton Gendron?
Gendron is the oldest of four children of Paul and Pamela Gendron, both of who are civil engineers working for the New York State Department of Transportation. According to neighbors, the family is upper middle class. They have a really nice family," neighbor Nancy Santucci said. "They seem like regular people. In a million years I never would think that anyone from this neighborhood would drive to Buffalo to carry out a racially motivated shooting."
Santucci said that Gendron graduated from Susquehanna Valley High School last year. He recalled how there was a big party on the family home's lawn, decorated with balloons. Santucci said Gendron brought home a human size Brontosaurs that he had made for a school project.
Gendron has pleaded not guilty to the killings, his lawyer has confirmed, according to the Daily Mail. The shooter reportedly scrawled the N-word on his rifle before carrying out the massacre.
“The shooter was not from this community. The shooter traveled hours to this community to perpetuate this crime on the people of Buffalo,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said. The attack took place at a time when many people were shopping for grocery. The store’s operation manager reportedly said she thought she heard 70 shots. "He looked like he was in the Army," she said og Gendron, who was in military-style gear while opening fire with his assault rifle.
Two people who saw Gendron said he was wearing camouflage attire with a black helmet. “He was standing there with the gun to his chin. We were like what the heck is going on? Why does this kid have a gun to his face?” Braedyn Kephart, a witness, said. He described how the gunman dropped to his knees, ripped off his helmet and let go of his gun, before being tackled by police.
A regular shopper at the market told a local television station that he knew many of the people who were killed. “I lost three people today that I know and talk to five, six times a week. One, a friend of over 30 years, another a friend of 20 years. This is insane,” the man said.