Tops massacre suspect Payton Gendron may have spewed hate online

The New York teenager, who is accused of killing 10 people at a Buffalo convenience store in a “simple racially motivated hate crime” on Saturday afternoon, appears to have spent months spreading racist conspiracy theories on social media sites before the attack .

Police officials have identified the suspected shooter as 18-year-old Payton Gendron of Conklin, New York. They also confirmed that Gendron live streamed part of the attack.

Footage from the live stream, released to video sharing platform Twitch, shows a man in military fatigues filming from a helmet-mounted camera before exiting the car with a gun on which he appears to have painted racial slurs.

A Twitch spokesperson confirmed to The Daily Beast that the shooting was live-streamed on the platform by a person with the username “jimboboiii”. They said they were “vigorously monitoring” to stop any re-streaming of the horrifying footage.

A person using the same social media name as Gendron’s Twitch account shared racist and anti-Semitic comments on Reddit and Discord in the months leading up to the attack. Additionally, a hateful document that surfaced online shortly after the attack was written under the name of Payton Gendron and included a vow to target Buffalo because of its large black population. He wrote that he would target black people both inside and outside the Tops store, which was mentioned by name and location.

This document also detailed plans to assassinate an armed guard on duty and included a rough sketch of the store and where the author expected the guard to stand inside. It anticipated an exchange of gunfire and described how the author planned to absorb gunfire with body armor.

The document also included some biological details, noting that the author lived with his two brothers and parents. A neighbor of the Gendron family told The Daily Beast the 18-year-old has two brothers.

Law enforcement sources have told The Daily Beast they are investigating a possible manifesto, but the document could not be authenticated in the hours after the massacre. It is not clear if the version circulating online could have been altered by anyone.

A person using the username “Jimbo Boiii” also posted an online review for a pawn shop near Gendron’s hometown, which is a three-hour drive from Buffalo. The shop advertises the buying and selling of coins, a theme in both the Reddit account and the alleged manifest. The latter’s author described the accumulation of gold and silver pieces as a way to annoy national governments that print paper money and the Jews he envisioned controlling them.

The manifesto also paid tribute to the shooter in the Christchurch, New Zealand shootings that killed 51 people at two mosques, and calls the mass shooter of 2019 “the person who became radicalised.” [me] most.” The author specifically credits the former shooter’s obsession with the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, a racist fantasy about an alleged conspiracy to eliminate whites.

The shooter thus appears to have followed in the footsteps of notorious white supremacists, such as those in the 2019 massacres in El Paso, Texas; Poway, California; and the 2018 attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

After Saturday’s shooting, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul called on social media to give the shooter an opportunity to share his views.

“The social media platforms that benefit from their existence have to be responsible for surveillance… They can become an accomplice in a way, if not legally, but morally,” she told reporters.

At an evening news conference, Buffalo officials said there was no known contact between law enforcement and Gendron and they had no warning of the attack.

Gendron was previously enrolled at SUNY Broome Community College, but it wasn’t immediately clear how long he studied there. A school spokeswoman described him as a “former student” in a comment to The Buffalo News.

— Eileen Grench contributed coverage Tops massacre suspect Payton Gendron may have spewed hate online


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