Payton Gendron is the suspect accused of killing at least 10 people at a Tops Friendly Market grocery store in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday, May 14, 2022. Gendron was taken into custody at the scene, Buffalo Police said. Three others were wounded. Gendron is facing first-degree murder charges in New York state court and could also face federal charges, including hate crimes, officials said.
A racist and anti-Semitic manifesto and a Twitch livestream were attributed online to the gunman, but authorities have not verified those accounts. A graphic video emerged that shows bodies lying in the parking lot as law enforcement officers take the suspect into custody. Gendron is from Conklin, New York. He said in the manifesto he is an 18-year-old college student and a self-described white supremacist.
Conklin is more than 200 miles southeast of Buffalo in the Southern Tier region of New York. Gendron included his name in the manifesto and The Associated Press confirmed his identity with law enforcement sources. Gendron is expected to appear in court Saturday night for his arraignment, authorities said.
The manifesto, which talks about the extremist far-right white or great replacement theory and includes alt-right 4chan memes and jokes, is similar to ones written by shooters who attacked a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, the Tree of Life synagogue in Pennsylvania and an El Paso, Texas, Walmart in recent years, Yale professor Jason Stanley says.
Yet another mass killing motivated explicitly by white replacement theory, this time in Buffalo, NY. This follows upon many previous ones – from Anders Breivik in 2011 in Norway, the Christchurch mass murder of 50+, Tree of Life slaughter, El Paso murder of 22, etc.
— Jason Stanley (@jasonintrator) May 14, 2022
According to the Buffalo News, 10 people were murdered by the suspect, and three others wounded, two critically. “It’s like walking onto a horror movie, but everything is real. It is Armageddon-like,” a police source told the newspaper. “It is so overwhelming.”
According to authorities, 11 of the 13 victims who were shot were Black. The victims include four store employees. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said at a press conference, “Buffalo is known as the city of good neighbors nationally and internationally. This is a community where people love each other. The shooter was not from this community. In fact, the shooter traveled hours from outside this community to perpetrate this crime on the people of Buffalo.
Brown added, “A day when people were enjoying the sunshine, enjoying family, enjoying friends, all manner of happy activities. People in a supermarket, shopping, and bullets raining down on them. People’s lives being snuffed out in an instant for no reason.”
Here’s what you need to know about Payton Gendron and the Buffalo mass shooting:
1. Gendron Is Accused of Wearing Military Gear & Carrying a Rifle Into the Store; a Retired Police Officer Is Among the Dead
The Buffalo News reported that the suspect was “dressed in body armor and armed with a high-powered rifle.”
The newspaper reported that one of the victims is “a recently retired Buffalo police officer who was working security at the store.” According to the newspaper, half of the bodies were discovered in the parking lot of the store.
Witness Shonnell Harris, a store employee, told the Buffalo News that the shooter was “a white man wearing camouflage.”
“He looked like he was in the Army,” she said, explaining she heard as many as 70 shots.
2. A Graphic Video Emerged Showing Gendron Being Taken Into Custody, Bodies on the Ground & Another Shows Him Driving Up to the Store
Heavy is not embedding the video because it is so graphic. The graphic video showed a possible suspect being taken into custody by law enforcement officers.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said at a press conference the shooting happened about 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Gramaglia said the suspect drove to Buffalo and at the Tops market he got out of his vehicle and was “heavily armed.” Gramaglia added, “He had tactical gear, he had a tactical helmet on. He had a camera that was live streaming what he was doing. The individual exited his car and engaged four individuals. He shot four people in the parking lot.” Three of those initial victims were killed and a fourth survived and was being treated at a local hospital.
WATCH: Buffalo police hold news conference following mass shootingBuffalo police hold a news conference following a mass shooting at a grocery store on May 14 that left several people dead.
The police commissioner said the suspect then went inside. “One of the individuals inside the store is a security guard, a beloved security guard, who is a retired Buffalo Police officer, a hero in our eyes, engaged the suspect, fired multiple shots, struck the suspect, but because he had heavy armor plating on, that bullet had no round.” The suspect then killed the security guard, police said.
Gramaglia said after shooting the retired officer the suspect continued through the store and he was taken into custody in the front of store by police. According to Gramaglia, the suspect put his gun to his own neck, but patrol officers were able to talk the suspect into dropping his gun. He surrendered after taking off some of his gear, police said.
3. The Racist Manifesto Rails About ‘Mass Immigration’ & Describes the Author as ‘the Sole Perpetrator of the Recent Attempted Mass Shooting’
The manifesto fixates on mass immigration.
“Mass immigration and the higher fertility rates of the immigrants themselves are causing this increase in population. We are experiencing an invasion on a level never seen before in history,” it says. “Millions of people pouring across our borders, legally. Invited by the state and corporate entities to replace the White people who have failed to reproduce, failed to create the cheap labor, failed to create new consumers and tax base that the corporations and states need to have to thrive.”
It continues, “This crisis of mass immigration and sub-replacement fertility is an assault on the European people that, if not combated, will ultimately result in the complete racial and cultural replacement of the European people.”
The manifesto, which refers to “white genocide,” contains a name and says that the author is “18 years old as of writing this. I am the sole perpetrator of the recent attempted mass shooting. I lived in Southern Tier, New York all my life with both my parents and 2 brothers. I believe I am ethnically white since my parent’s nationalities are from north-western Europe and Italy. I graduated highschool with a regents diploma with advanced designation and am currently enrolled in SUNY Broome with a major in Engineering Science.”
It continues, “I would love to continue this but there are bigger problems I’m more concerned with. I am not a warfighter, nor have I been enrolled in any military or tactical training, so excuse any mistakes I make during my attack. I was never diagnosed with a mental disability or disorder, and I believe to be perfectly sane.”
He claimed to be an “INTJ” personality type and included photos of a fake active shooter that often circulate online after mass shootings. The manifesto contains many pages of anti-Jewish memes and graphics.
The manifesto states:
Why did you decide to carry out the attack?
To show to the replacers that as long as the White man lives, our land will never be theirs and they will never be safe from us.
To directly reduce immigration rates to European lands by intimidating and physically removing the replacers themselves.
To intimidate the replacers already living on our lands to emigrate back to their home countries.
To agitate the political enemies of my people into action, to cause them to overextend their own hand and experience the eventual and inevitable backlash as a result.
To incite violence, retaliation and further divide between the European people and the replacers currently occupying European soil…
To add momentum to the pendulum swings of history, further destabilizing and polarizing Western society in order to eventually destroy the current nihilistic, hedonistic, individualistic insanity that has taken control of Western thought.
The shooting is being investigated as a hate crime and case of racially motivated violent extremism, federal authorities said. FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo field office Stephen Belongia said. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York is also assisting in the investigation along with state and local authorities.
4. Unconfirmed Reports Say the Suspect Streamed the Shooting Live on Twitch Using the Name ‘Jimboboiii’
The Twitter page Intel Point Alert tweeted, “🇺🇸#URGENT: ‘Active shooter’ with several people down at Tops Grocery in Buffalo, New York.”
The site followed up with, “A large emergency response is underway following confirmed reports of multiple people shot. No word on the suspect at this time.”
The page then shared a screenshot from a Twitch page showing a body lying next to a cash register. “🇺🇸#DISTURBING: Gunman live streamed shooting on Twitch under the name ‘jimboboiii,’” the page reported. The screenshot is very graphic. The Twitch page is down so this account could not be immediately confirmed.
“Jimboboiii” also has a Steam profile, but there isn’t much on it.
Another Twitter page wrote, “The shooter streamed it live on twitch but there was only 20 viewers, the VOD was deleted and idk if anyone recorded it.”
A now-deleted Reddit account with the same username posted in recent months about buying ammunition and body armor. The account was taken down after the shooting. Reddit has not commented about whether the account belonged to the suspect. An account on a video-sharing website with the “Jimboboiii” username posted admiringly about the Christchurch mosque mass shooter two months ago.
Twitch’s statement regarding the live-stream of the shooting: pic.twitter.com/Q5125E7lJm
— adam duke (@duke_university) May 14, 2022
Twitch issued a statement about the live stream, “We are devastated to hear about the shooting that took place this afternoon in Buffalo, New York. Our hearts go out to the community impacted by this tragedy. Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against violence of any kind and works swiftly to respond to all incidents. The user has been indefinitely suspended from our service and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content.” The live-streaming company said any rebroadcasts would also be deleted and those accounts would be banned from the service.
The Suspect’s Mom Wrote About His ‘College Visit’ on Facebook
In 2020, the suspect’s mother posted pictures of Gendron on Facebook and wrote, “Crazy time for Payton’s college visit.”
That same year, she posted more pictures of Gendron and wrote, “And just like that we have a 17 year old in the house.”
Photos included by Gendron in the manifesto claiming to be of him are actually of comedian Sam Hyde. Trolls on 4chan and elsewhere often post pictures of Hyde after mass shootings and other incidents to trick people into identifying him as the suspect. The New York Times wrote about the Hyde phenomenon in 2017.
Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said at the press conference, “This was pure evil. It was straight-up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside our community … coming into our community to try to inflict evil upon us.”