Payton Gendron talks with his attorney during his arraignment in Buffalo City Court, Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Mark Mulville/The Buffalo News via AP
The suspect in the Buffalo grocery store shooting has been identified as 18-year-old Payton Gendron.
His gun had the N-word written on the barrel along with a white supremacist slogan, a report in The Buffalo News said.
Officials said the attack was racially motivated. Eleven of the 13 people shot were Black.
Payton Gendron, 18, has been identified as the suspect in what authorities describe as a racially motivated mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday that left 10 people dead.
A government official told The Buffalo News that the gunman’s semi-automatic gun had the N-word written on the barrel in white paint and the number 14 – a known white supremacist slogan.
“14 Words” is a slogan coined by David Lane, a member of the white supremacist terrorist group known as The Order, according to the Anti-Defamation League: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”
Officials said they were investigating a 180-page manifesto believed to belong to Gendron, which contained racist and anti-semitic views. It referenced the “replacement theory” – a far-right ideology that claims white people are being replaced by people of color – The New York Times reported.
Unverified screenshots of the manifesto circulated online after the attack, in which the self-proclaimed “white supremacist” author said that they had not grown up in a racist environment but had been radicalized online.
‘This very troubled young man’
The 18-year-old Gendron lives in Conklin, New York, with his father Paul and mother Pamela, both engineers for the New York transit department, according to The Daily Mail.
Gendron had previously been investigated by police, when Susquehanna Valley High School officials said that he had made threats of violence in June 2021, according to The Buffalo News.
“A school official reported that this very troubled young man had made statements indicating that he wanted to do a shooting, either at a graduation ceremony or sometime after,” a government official familiar with the case told the paper.
Gendron was investigated by state police and was referred for a mental health evaluation and counseling, according to the official.
A man is detained following a mass shooting in the parking lot of TOPS supermarket, in a still image from a social media video in Buffalo, New York, U.S. May 14, 2022.
Courtesy of BigDawg/ via REUTERS
He went on to enroll at SUNY Bro ome Community College but is no longer studying there, a college spokesperson told The Buffalo News. They did not confirm when he was enrolled and when and why he left.
Investigators said that Gendron drove three and a half hours to get to the Tops supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood to carry out the attack on Saturday.
The suspect arrived dressed in heavy tactical gear, heavy-duty body armor, and live-streamed the shooting on Twitch, according to police.
On Saturday night, Gendron appeared in court wearing a mask and white paper gown. He was charged with first-degree murder and pleaded not guilty.
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