A white supremacist accused of murdering 10 people and injuring three others at a convenience store in Buffalo, New York has previously considered other locations, including schools, churches and shopping malls in several cities in upstate New York and out west from New York like Rochester, as his Internet writings show.
Payton Gendron is accused of opening fire in a Tops Friendly supermarket on Saturday afternoon. A manifesto released online shortly before the shooting suggested the shooter specifically targeted that supermarket because it was in a neighborhood with a large black population. The manifesto is currently under investigation by law enforcement.
But Gendron also kept detailed logs of his alleged plans on messaging app Discord, dating back at least to November 2021. These logs, reviewed by The Daily Beast, reveal an aspiring killer who was inspired by past racist massacres and hoped to recreate them against Black New Yorkers.
Gendron routinely shared personal information on Discord, including selfies and videos. On several occasions, he has uploaded high school yearbook photos of himself with details consistent with previous accounts of his behavior at school, such as his decision to wear a hazmat suit at the start of the 2020 school year. In January, he shared racist posts about black people accompanied by a photo of what he described as his college cafeteria. This picture was taken in a cafeteria at SUNY Broome where he was enrolled as a student. In the logs, he also blamed black people for his tinnitus (a recurring complaint that an account linked to him featured in Reddit posts).
And in the days leading up to the attack, he used Discord to share pictures of himself inside and outside a blue Ford Taurus. Among these images are a selfie and several images of guns adorned with racial slurs and references to past mass murderers. Video that Gendron allegedly streamed live from the shooting shows him driving a blue Ford whose interior appears to match that of the Taurus, and a rifle used in the attack bore at least some of the same insults.
Gendron’s public defender, Brian K. Parker, did not immediately respond to messages Monday. Neither Discord, the FBI’s Buffalo field office, nor the Buffalo Police immediately responded to requests for comment. The Erie County District Attorney declined to comment.
The Discord logs, dating back about six months, show a lengthy planning process. In early December, Gendron announced plans for a March mass shooting in homage to a massacre of white supremacists at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The shooting is an obsession among certain white supremacists, some of whom have attempted to repeat the attack.
“The attack begins on March 15, 2022, three years after the mass shooting in Christchurch,” he wrote.
“I’ve been planning this attack for years now and every day that goes by feels less like a joke and more real,” he added.
He also alluded to raising the alarm, at least temporarily, with local authorities.
“I spent 20 hours in a hospital emergency room on 5/28/2021. That’s because when asked “What do you want to do when you retire?” I answered murder/suicide. on an online assignment in my economics class,” he wrote, using the name Jimboboiii (which was also used to live-stream the attack). That New York Times previously reported that Gendron made a similar threat towards the end of the school year and was admitted to the state police for investigation about a week after Gendron’s self-described visit to the emergency room.
While in hospital, he continued, “He was at that point contemplating a personal attack on the backup forces, and I had watched the mass shooting in Christchurch a few weeks earlier and had begun to educate myself about his motives and beliefs.” The mention of “substitute” refers to a racist conspiracy theory increasingly endorsed by right-wing voices such as Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
Gendron, who at the time of much of his writing was a student at SUNY Broome in south New York, lamented that his predominantly white location was not a good place for mass murder. Instead, he considered traveling to other New York City cities with larger black populations.
He also logged his purchases of ammunition and body armor throughout January, noting that he considered suicide before changing course. “Now there’s no going back, I’m all in [sic] that I must use all my resources and strength to commit this attack,” he wrote earlier this month.
Days after vowing the Christchurch shooting, Jimboboiii wrote that “Northern Rochester could be a good place” for his future hate crimes, as could “Mount Vernon and Hempstead.”
He seems to have been in Rochester for some time, even sketching a map of the city and its suburbs, with predominantly black areas highlighted in red. He considered specific locations for a mass shooting, such as a Walmart in Rochester. “Maybe a supermarket would be a better option for an attack,” he wrote in a message predicting his eventual attack. “Wegman’s or something.”
“Rochester Mall?” he mused on Christmas Day, accompanied by a link to a video of a black man quizzing shoppers about rap music at Greece Ridge Mall, a local mall. He wrote of his need to “make a few trips to Rochester to check out areas of attack.”
Gendron later appears to have focused on another mall in the area, noting in February that “Marketplace Mall is another option”.
Throughout his planning, he repeatedly spoke of killing as many black people as possible. “I need to check the Walmart on a Monday night so I can get an idea of the races that are in,” he wrote that same day. “According to Google Maps, they’re only white.”
He also suggested targeting black children or black churchgoers.
“A church would be interesting for the many people in one place, but I have a bad feeling doing that in a church,” he said, noting the Christchurch killer’s “successful” attack on mosques.
He published the name of a particular Buffalo school that accepts children as young as three into their preschool classes. “I would also try to attack a black elementary school but I’m not sure how I would get in,” he wrote.
On January 20, Jimboboiii wrote: “Perhaps even a synagogue would be a desirable place for an attack,” before deciding against it: “The 15th but synagogues are not.)
In March he appears to have decided to attack a Tops in Buffalo and drives hours away to patrol one such store.
“Then I went back to Top’s around 4am to look for something else to add. I noticed there were a lot of black people at the register at the time,” he wrote. “As I got out, the black-armed security guard came up to me and said, ‘I saw you going in and out… What are you doing?’ And I said I collect consensus data, he said if I talk to the manager about it and I said no and then he said I need to talk to him first.
“I asked his name and he told me and I immediately forgot, then I said goodbye and thank you and went back to my car,” Gendron added. “In retrospect, that was close.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/accused-buffalo-shooter-payton-gendron-eyed-other-cities-for-slaughter-logs-show?source=articles&via=rss Accused Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron eyeing other cities for slaughter, Logs Show