Payton Gendronthe white gunslinger accused of massacring 10 black people in a Buffalo supermarket wrote in November about staging an attack on African-Americans that would be broadcast live, practiced shooting from his car and traveled hours from his home in March to scout outside the store, according to detailed diary entries he appears to have posted online. .
The diary’s author published hand-drawn maps of the grocery store along with the number of black people he counted there. He recounted how a black security guard at the supermarket confronted him that day to ask him what he was doing. A black security guard was among those killed in Saturday’s shooting.
The diary taken from the chat platform Discord came to light two days after Payton Gendron18, allegedly opened fire with an AR-15 rifle at the Tops Friendly Market. wore bulletproof vest and used a helmet camera to broadcast the bloodbath live on the Internet, authorities said.
He turned himself in inside the supermarket and was booked on a murder charge over the weekend. He pleaded not guilty and was jailed on suicide watch. Federal authorities are contemplating filing charges for hate crimes.
Marc-André Argentino, a researcher at the London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence, shared copies of the online materials with The Associated Press.
Apparently, a transcript of the diary entries was published sometime before the attack. It was unclear how many people might have seen the tickets. Experts said it was possible but unlikely that the diary could have been altered by someone other than the author.
The top FBI agent in Buffalo Stephen Belongia, said Monday in a call with other officials that investigators are looking into the activity of Gendron on Discord, citing posts from last summer about bulletproof vests and guns and others from last month mocking federal authorities. Belongia did not provide details about the call, a recording of which was obtained by the Globe Live Media.
In an April 17 post apparently from Gendron he exhorted readers to kill FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents.
Messages were left with the lawyers of Gendron looking for feedback. No one answered the door at his family’s home.
The violence spread pain and anger in Buffalo and beyond.
Former Fire Commissioner Buffalo Garnell Whitfield Jr., who lost his 86-year-old mother, Ruth Whitfield, in the shooting, asked how the country could allow its history of racist murders to repeat itself.
“We are not only suffering. We are angry”Whitfield said at a news conference with civil rights attorney Ben Crump. “We treat people decently and love even our enemies.”
“And you expect us to keep doing this over and over and over, one more time, forgive and forget,” he continued. “While the people we elect and trust in office in this country go to great lengths not to protect us, to not consider us equals.”
The victims also included a man buying a cake for his grandson; a church deacon who helped people get home with his purchases; and a supermarket security guard.
Online diary details a reconnaissance visit the shooter made on March 8 to Buffaloabout 320 kilometers (200 miles) from the house of Gendron in Conklin, New York.
The police commissioner of Buffalo Joseph Gramaglia, told a news conference that there was information indicating that Gendron was in Buffalo in March, but he refused to say more.
The commissioner said numerous investigators are working to obtain and review Gendron’s online posts.
“There are many social networks that are being analyzed, or verified, captured,” Gramaglia said. “Some of that requires court orders that must be followed across various social media platforms.”
The author of the diary spoke about the verification of objectives, including the market Tops Friendlyand said a security guard asked what he was doing after his second visit of the day. Made an excuse about data collection and soon left.
A 180-page document purportedly written by Gendron notes that the attack was intended to terrorize all non-white, non-Christian people into leaving the country.. Federal authorities said they are working to confirm the document’s authenticity.
Gendron had briefly been on authorities’ radar last spring, when state police were called to his high school over a report that the then-17-year-old had made threatening statements.
Belongia, the FBI agent, said that Gendron had responded to a question about future plans by saying he wanted to commit a murder-suicide.
A Discord post from December that he apparently made Gendron he notes that he had given that answer to a retirement question in an economics class and ended up spending “one of the worst nights of my life” in a hospital.
Gramaglia said that Gendron he had no further contact with police after a mental health evaluation that landed him in a hospital for a day and a half. In the call with Belongia, Gramaglia said the state police “did everything within the bounds of the law” at the time.
It was unclear whether officials could have invoked New York’s “red flag” regulation, which allows law enforcement, school officials and families ask a court to order the seizure of weapons from people considered dangerous.
Federal law prohibits people from owning guns if a judge has determined they have a “mental defect” or have been forced into a mental institution. An assessment alone would not trigger a ban.
At the White House, President Joe Biden, who planned a visit Tuesday to Buffalo paid tribute to the slain security guard, retired police officer Aaron Salter.
Salter repeatedly shot the attacker, hitting his armored vest at least once before he was shot to death. Biden said Salter “gave his life trying to save others.”
Authorities said that in addition to the 10 blacks killed, there were three wounded: one black and two whites.
Zeneta Everhart said her son, supermarket clerk Zaire Goodman, was helping a shopper outside when he saw a man get out of a car in military gear and point a gun at him. Later, a bullet struck Goodman in the neck.
“Mom! Mom, come here now, come here now! They shot me!”, he told his mother on the phone. Goodman, 20, left the hospital and was doing well Monday, his mother said.
In a live streamed video of the attack circulating online, The gunman pointed his gun at a white person hiding behind a checkout counter, but said, “I’m sorry!” and he didn’t shoot. Screenshots from the broadcast appear to show an anti-black racial slur scrawled on his rifle.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.