Payton Gendron: What we all know in regards to the suspect within the Buffalo grocery store taking pictures

“This was pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John C. Garcia said at a news conference Saturday, calling the shooting a “plain racially motivated hate crime by someone outside of our community.”

The US Department of Justice is investigating the shooting “as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism,” according to a statement by US Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Here’s what we know about the shooting suspect.

He wore tactical gear

Authorities say when the suspect arrived at the store around 2:30 p.m., he was heavily armed, wearing tactical gear, a helmet and had a camera showing his actions live.

The suspect used an assault weapon, Flynn said during the press conference.

In his press release, Flynn said the suspect shot four people, three fatally, outside the grocery store. As he entered the store, gunfire erupted with an armed security guard who authorities say was a retired Buffalo police officer. The security guard died from his injuries. The suspect shot dead eight other people at the store, six of whom died, the press release said.

Document speaks of “dwindling size” of white population

Investigators are searching a 180-page document posted online for leads, Flynn said. Officials have described the document as an alleged “manifesto” allegedly written by the suspect.

Authorities say the suspected gunman arrived hours away from the Buffalo supermarket.  Here's what we know

“We’re obviously going through this with a fine-toothed comb, reviewing it for any evidence that might lead us besides the manifesto itself,” the prosecutor told CNN’s Victor Blackwell Sunday afternoon.

“Any evidence that we find from this manifesto, wherever that manifesto takes us, other evidence that we already had, we can then use and possibly develop further indictments,” Flynn said.

Investigators reviewed the document posted online related to the shooting trial on Saturday, two federal law enforcement sources told CNN.

The document, which CNN obtained independently shortly after the attack and before authorities released the suspect’s name, was allegedly authored by a person claiming to be Payton Gendron, who confessed to the attack.

The author says he bought ammunition for some time, but only seriously started planning the attack in January. The author also writes about his perceptions of the declining size of the white population and claims of ethnic and cultural replacement of whites.

Part of the document is in question-and-answer form.

The author attributes most of his beliefs to the internet and describes himself as a fascist, white supremacist and anti-Semite.

He made a “general threat” in high school in 2021.

Gendron issued a “general threat” while attending Susquehanna Valley Central High School in June 2021, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Sunday.

In response to a question from CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz at a Buffalo news conference, Gramaglia said state police took the student for a mental health evaluation. After a day and a half, he was released, according to Gramaglia.

The threat was not racially motivated, Gramaglia said.

Sheriff Garcia told CNN Monday the suspect was visited by New York State Police last year after he conducted a high school homicide-suicide project.

According to Garcia, concerns about alleged mental health issues were “brought to light” after he submitted the project after it was completed.

“State police arrived at his home at this time last year,” Garcia said. “He stayed in a facility for a day and a half — I’m not sure if it was a hospital or a psychiatric facility.”

Separately, a spokesman for the New York State Police told CNN on Sunday they were investigating a report that a 17-year-old student made “a threatening statement.” The student was taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation in June 2021.

State police responded to Susquehanna High School in Conklin, NY, on June 8, 2021 following the threat statement, the spokesman said.

“The student was taken into custody under NYS Mental Health Law Section 9.41 and taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation,” state police told CNN in an email.

State police could not confirm how long the person was in the hospital, nor the results of the assessment. They also refused to give the 17-year-old’s name.

According to the store’s owner, Gendron was employed at the local Conklin Reliable Market for about four months before leaving about three months ago. The owner of the store said he was very quiet and left the store on his own with two weeks’ notice.

Neighbors say they regularly see Gendron’s mother walking around the neighborhood. A neighbor said the mother was a nice woman and they “never thought that in a million years Gendron would hold racist views”. The neighbor added: “It’s quite shocking.”

Another neighbor said when speaking to Payton Gendron “you wouldn’t get more than a word or two from him”.

The gun was legally purchased in New York

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said it was not clear if the suspect should be barred from selling a gun in New York state after it was revealed the shooter was once investigated for something he wrote in high school had.

Earlier Sunday, Hochul told CNN that the gun used in the Buffalo mass shooting that killed 10 people on Saturday was legally purchased in New York state. Speaking to CNN’s Dana Bash on State of the Union, Hochul said the weapon was an AR-15. She said it assumes the high-capacity magazine was purchased outside of New York.

Payton Gendron speaks with his attorney during his arraignment Saturday in Buffalo City Court.

Speaking to Margaret Brennan on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday, Hochul was asked how the 18-year-old suspect was able to legally purchase a gun given he had been investigated for past comments.

“That is what is being investigated now,” Hochul replied. “I understand that he wrote something when he was in high school and that was investigated. So we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”

When asked by Brennan if the sale of the gun was an oversight by the state, Hochul said: “We don’t know at the moment. But I’m going to get to the bottom of it and find out now it happened a while ago.”

He was reportedly live streaming on Twitch

Popular live streaming platform Twitch confirmed Saturday that the shooting suspect used their platform to stream a live feed during the attack.

The Buffalo Supermarket Massacre is the latest high-profile mass shooting authority to say it was motivated by hate.  Here are others

The company said it was “devastated” to hear about the shooting, adding that the user “has been suspended from our service indefinitely and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring all accounts viewing this content.” broadcast again”.

CNN received part of the livestream showing the alleged shooter driving to a Tops store.

The video is taken from the point of view of the suspected shooter as he pulls into the supermarket parking lot. The person is seen in the rearview mirror wearing a helmet and is heard saying, “I just have to do it” before pulling into the front of the store.

The video shows shoppers walking through the parking lot as the suspect pulls up.

A spokesman for Twitch said the company removed the live stream less than two minutes after the violence began. The company did not immediately respond to follow-up questions about whether the suspect was actively firing when the live stream was paused.

He is likely to face more charges

Gendron was charged with first-degree murder before Chief Justice of the Buffalo City Court, Craig Hannah, Saturday night, the district attorney’s press release said.

He pleaded not guilty, Hannah told CNN. If convicted, he faces life in prison without parole, the statement said.

And more charges could come, officials said.

“My office works closely with the US Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners regarding potential terrorism and hate crimes. This is an active investigation and additional charges may be filed,” Flynn said in a statement.

Gendron is scheduled to return to court for a felony hearing on the morning of May 19, the press release said. He will remain in detention without bail, it said.

The suspect made very disturbing statements describing his motive and mental state following his arrest, an official familiar with the investigation told CNN.

The officer said statements following the arrest were clear and filled with hatred towards the black community. The alleged shooter, according to the officer, revealed that he was targeting the black community during testimony.

Investigators have uncovered other information from search warrants and other methods that suggest the alleged gunman “investigated” previous hate attacks and shootings.

CNN’s Sharif Paget, Sabrina Shulman and Brian Stelter contributed to this report.

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