The Buffalo Mass Shooting

On May 14, 2022, Payton Gendron, 18, opened fire on shoppers at a Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 people and injuring 3 others. The attack was racially motivated.

Background

Peyton Gendron was born on June 20, 2002. He lived with both of his parents and two brothers. According to his manifesto, he was enrolled in SUNY Broome with a major in Engineering Science.

Internet Activity

Gendron used Discord and shared many of his thoughts on there. He shared pictures of himself, pictures of his guns, and hateful thoughts.

Gendron then enters into the store and sees two women on the floor. He shoots multiple rounds at both, reloads the gun, and shoots one of the women in the head. Continuing the attack, Gendron walks along the row of check-outs and shoots another 2 people.

Gendron had been active online before the murders took place. He had written a “to-do list” of objectives for him to complete before carrying out his plan. The list was created on Discord on March 5, 2022, at 10:01 a.m., and suggest that Gendron had already been planning the attack, as he writes “continue writing manifesto, fix leftism equality X.” The last update was on May 12, 2022, when Gendron writes “Get superglue and super glue helmet mount to helmet.”

Manifesto

Gendron posted a manifesto to Google Drive. In the 180-page manifesto, he writes how his boredom led him to spend his time on 4 Chan websites. He explains that he had been planning the attack for a few years but became serious about it in January 2022.

In his manifesto, Gendron declines being a neo-nazi, though he states he supports them. He also states he is not a part of conservatism. He states, “depending on the definition” he could be both “right-wing” and “left-wing” Gendron states he could be a socialist, depending on the definition, the works, and who owns the state.

Live Stream

Before the attack, a link to Discord live and Twitch live were posted to a discord. A Twitter user who states they know someone who was in the Discord with him. The individual explains that an entire group of discord of about 100 people were invited to view his live stream; approximately 7 of them joined. There would be 22 live viewers when the attack took place.

The Attack

Gendron drove over 200 miles from Conklin, New York to Buffalo, New York to carry out his attack. He was wearing tactical gear and was armed with an assault rifle, which had hateful speech written on it.

In a video that depicted the murder, Gendron can be seen riding around the parking lot of the Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York for about 6 minutes and 8 seconds. He then gets out of his car and immediately shoots and kills the first person walking by. Gendron then opens fire on the rest of the shoppers, hitting three more people (2 of the three would succumb to their wounds)

A still image from the live stream

A man who was taking cover between check-out lanes was spared. Gendron pointed his gun at him; the man screamed. Gendron replied, “sorry.” The video ended here, but Gendron would continue to shoot a total of 9 people inside of the Tops grocery store.

According to the prosecutor’s office, there was a security guard inside the store who engaged in gunfire with Gendron. The security guard, who was also a retired Buffalo Police Officer, was fatally shot.  

Victims

Not all the victims’ identities have not been released yet. Police stated out of the 13 people shot, 11 were Black and 2 were White.

Aaron Salter

Aaron Salter, 55, was the security guard and retired Buffalo Police Officer.

Ruth Whitfield

Ruth Whitfield, 55, had stopped at the store to grab something to eat after visiting her husband in his nursing home.

Pearly Young

Pearly Young, 77, ran a pantry in the Central Park neighborhood for 25 years, according to news outlets. She enjoyed spending time with her family, dancing, and singing.

Celestine Chaney

Celestine Chaney, 65, was visiting her sister. They decided to run to Tops to grab strawberries to make a strawberry shortcake, according to news outlets.

Katherine Massey

Katherine Massey was running to grab some groceries and a newspaper. Her sister, Barbara Massey, texted a news reporter that Katherine was a beautiful soul.

Heyward Patterson

Heyward Patterson was frequent shopper at Tops. He would give others a ride to and from the store so they would not have to carry their groceries.

Roberta Drury

Roberta Drury, 32, was picking up groceries for dinner, according to news outlets. Her sister, Amanda Drury told the outlet that Roberta was very vibrant, “She always was the center of attention and made the whole room smile and laugh.”

The three individuals who were shot and injured are in stable condition; one has been released as of May 15, 2022.

Arrest & Court Proceedings

Gendron was apprehended at the scene. He has been arrested and charged with first degree murder of multiple victims.

He was arraigned on May 14, 2022. Gendron pled not guilty to the charges. He is expected back in court on May 19, 2022.

According to Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, “The Justice Department is investigating this matter as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism.”

Gendron is due back in court on May 19, 2022.

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