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Buffalo shooter, 18, who killed ten disguised himself as a HOMELESS person to perform reconnaissance on supermarket the day before he carried out massacre
always thought he liked me because I was Matt's girlfriend. He was never mean to me. He never did anything that made me think that he was racist.'
Skylar McClain and boyfriend Matt Casado, both 19, are shocked that their friend went on a shooting rampage, killing 10 in a Buffalo supermarket
'He was never mean to me. He never did anything that made me think that he was racist,' Skylar, 19, told DailyMail.com
Neighbor Tim Baker told DailyMail.com: 'This whole thing just doesn’t make sense given who his friend is'
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Buffalo shooter, 18, planned attack for MONTHS before driving three hours to gun down 10 in supermarket ambush motivated by his hatred of black people
Police say the teen admitted that he was targeting the black community when he carried out the massacre. FBI agents are pictured executing a search warrant and Gendron's house on Sunday
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn revealed Sunday night that officials are considering charging Gendron with domestic terrorism
Police believe Gendron planned the attack for months before driving three hours to Buffalo to carry out the vile ambush that authorities are calling an act of 'violent extremism' motivated by race.
Investigators, while executing a search warrant at his home on Sunday, also found evidence that the teen had been 'studying' previous hate crimes and shootings before he carried out his own attack.
'The evidence that we have uncovered so far makes no mistake that this is an absolute racist hate crime. It will be prosecuted as a hate crime,' Gramaglia said. 'This is someone who has hate in their heart, soul and mind.'
Shonnell Teague (pictured), manager of Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, claims suspected gunman Payton Gendron visited the store on Friday while disguised as a homeless person. She claims he 'acted like he needed change' but was really surveying the store
It was also revealed Sunday that Gendron was not on law enforcement's radar - despite having underwent a mental health evaluation last summer after he threatened to open fire at his high school.
Teague, who was in the store during the attack, detailed the horrors of Saturday's massacre on her Facebook page
Police were called to Gendron's high school in Conklin, New York, located near the Pennsylvania border, on June 8, 2021 after he made a threatening statement, authorities revealed during a press conference Sunday.
'The state police responded. They investigated. They interviewed the subject. And they felt at the time it was appropriate to have that individual brought in for a mental health evaluation,' Gramaglia explained.
Gramaglia said the threat was not racist and not directed at a specific person or place.
However, an unnamed law enforcement source told The Associated Press Gendron, then-17, had threatened to shoot up Pennsylvania's Susquehanna High School around graduation.
Gendron was released after spending a day-and-a-half in the hospital. Gramaglia said that after his discharge, Gendron had no further contact with law enforcement.
'Nobody called in,' the police commissioner said. 'Nobody called any complaints.'
New York Governor Kathy Hochul told ABC News on Sunday that an investigation would focus on what could have been done to stop Gendron, since he had advertised his views online and had been on authorities' radar.
'I want to know what people knew, and when they knew it,' she said, adding the probe would be 'calling upon our law enforcement as well as our social media platforms.'
President Joe Biden will travel to Buffalo on Tuesday to meet with the families of mass shooting victims, the White House confirmed to CNN. The president also issued condolences to the families on Sunday and said he was receiving regular updates from his team about the massacre.
'We're still gathering the facts, but already, the Justice Department has stated publicly that it's investigating the matter as a hate crime, racially-motivated act of white supremacy and violent extremism,' Biden said.
'As they do, we must all work together to address the hate that remains a stain on the soul of America. Our hearts are heavy once again, but our resolve must never waver.'
Gendron allegedly murdered 10 people in a 'racist hate crime ' at a supermarket in Buffalo, NY on Saturday. People are seen outside the store after the shooting
Suspected gunman Payton Gendron is taken into policy custody outside the Tops in Buffalo on Saturday
Buffalo police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia revealed during a press conference Sunday that Gendron had previously made a non-specific shooting threat while in high school
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is said on Sunday that an investigation would focus on what could have been done to stop Gendron, since he had advertised his views online and had been on authorities' radar
A teenaged gunman who allegedly murdered 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket planned the attack for months before he drove for three hours to carry out the vile ambush that was believed to be motivated by his hated of black people.
Federal agents interviewed the parents of Payton Gendron, the teenager accused of firing a barrage of 50 shots at the store that killed 10 people, a law enforcement official said on Sunday.
Gendron, 18, of Conklin, NY, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder following Saturday's attack. He is being held without bail and faces life in prison.
The alleged killer, who is due back in court on Thursday, is currently on suicide watch and is being held in a separate unit from other inmates, the sheriff of Erie County, John Garcia, said at the news conference Sunday.
Gendron's parents Paul and Pamela were cooperating with investigators, the official - who asked to remain anonymous - said.
Police say a rambling text of a 180-page manifesto that Gendron posted before going on his rampage included a plan of the attack which detailed driving several counties away to carry out the shooting at the Tops Friendly Market.
Gendron identified himself as a white supremacist in the document as he explained his fears white people are being replaced by other races, police said.
'The shooter traveled hours from outside this community to perpetrate this crime on the people of Buffalo, a day when people were enjoying the sunshine, enjoying family, enjoying friends,' Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at a Saturday evening news conference.
'People in a supermarket, shopping and bullets raining down on them. People's lives being snuffed out in an instant for no reason.'
Seven of of the victims have been named by family members by Sunday, including security guard Aaron Salter - a retired Buffalo police officer - who fired multiple shots at Gendron. A bullet hit the gunman's armor, but had no effect. Gendron then killed Salter, before hunting more victims.
Shopper Ruth Whitfield, an 86-year-old grandmother, who is also the mother of former Buffalo fire commissioner Garnell Whitfield, and Katherine Massey, who had gone to the store to pick up some groceries, were also was killed, according to Buffalo News.
Pearly Young, 77, who fed needy residents in Buffalo's Central Park neighborhood for 25 years, was shot and killed during the massacre, reporter Madison Carter tweeted.
Celestine Chaney, 65, who was at the supermarket to buy strawberries for shortcake, was killed during the shooting, her son, Wayne Jones, 48, confirmed. Roberta Drury, 32, was at the store to buy groceries for dinner when she was fatally shot, her sister Amanda Drury, 34, said.
Heyward Patterson, who would often give people rides to and from the supermarket and help them carry their groceries, was also among the 10 people fatally shot, according to Patterson's great niece Teniqua Clark.
Officials said the rifle Gendron used in the attack was purchased legally but the magazines he used for ammunition were not allowed to be sold in New York.
Robert Donald, the owner of Vintage Firearms in Endicott, N.Y., told the New York Times on Sunday that he recently sold a Bushmaster assault weapon to the man accused of the massacre.
Donald, 75, who primarily sells collectible firearms, said the teen bought the gun without leaving an impression and was shocked when he got a call from investigators regarding Gendron.
Police say the rambling text of a 180-page manifesto that Payton Gendron (pictured here) posted included a plan of the attack which detailed driving several counties away to carry out the rampage the Tops Friendly Market
An image of the suspected shooter in his car livestreaming an attack on a Buffalo supermarket that left 10 people dead
A preliminary investigation found Gendron had repeatedly visited sites espousing white supremacist ideologies and race-based conspiracy theories and extensively researched the 2019 mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the man who killed dozens at a summer camp in Norway in 2011, the official said.
It wasn't immediately clear why Gendron had traveled about 200 miles from his Conklin, New York, to Buffalo and that particular grocery store, but investigators believe Gendron had specifically researched the demographics of the population around the Tops Friendly Markey and had been searching for communities with a high number of African American residents, the official said. The market is located in a predominantly black neighborhood.
Police said Gendron, wearing military gear and livestreaming with a helmet camera, shot, in total, 11 Black people and two white people Saturday in a rampage that the 18-year-old broadcast live before surrendering to authorities. Screenshots purporting to be from the Twitch broadcast appear to show a racial epithet scrawled on the rifle used in the attack, as well as the number 14, a likely reference to a white supremacist slogan.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told churchgoers he saw former Buffalo fire commissioner Garnell Whitfield, the son of victim Ruth Whitfield at the shooting scene Saturday, looking for his mother.
'My mother had just gone to see my father, as she does every day, in the nursing home and stopped at the Tops to buy just a few groceries.
'And nobody has heard from her,' Whitfield told the mayor then. She was confirmed as a victim later in the day, Brown said.
Pearly Young, 77, a beloved grandmother and former missionary was mourned on social media Sunday. 'For 25 years she ran a pantry where every Saturday she fed people in Central Park. Every. Saturday.
'She loved singing, dancing, & being with family. She was mother, grandma, & missionary. Gone too soon,' reporter Madison Carter wrote in a tweet.
'YOU DID NOT DESERVE THIS!!!!' Jimmie Smith posted on Facebook with a picture of Young.
Chaney, 65, a breast cancer survivor, was visiting her sister and the two of them were at the supermarket Saturday because Chaney wanted to get strawberries to make shortcake.
'She loved those,' her son told the Times, who explained that her sister made it into the freezer, 'but my mom cannot really walk like she used to... she basically can't run.'
Drury, 32, who was killed in the shooting while she was shopping for dinner, was described as 'very vibrant' by her sister Amanda. 'She always was the center of attention and made the whole room smile and laugh.'
The shooting also claimed the life of Heyward Patterson, a deacon at State Tabernacle COGIC, who was known to give people rides to and from the Tops supermarket and help them carry their groceries, according to Patterson's great niece Teniqua Clark.
A law enforcement personnel stands outside the home of Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect Payton Gendron in Conklin, New York a day after the teen allegedly went on a deadly rampage that killed 10 people
Payton Gendron, 18, who is accused of fatally shooting 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday lives at this home in Conklin, New York with his parents
Federal agents interviewed the parents of Payton Gendron, the teenager accused of firing a barrage of 50 shots at the supermarket that killed 10 people, a law enforcement official said on Sunday