The teenager who murdered 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, planned the attack for months before driving for three hours to carry out the ambush which authorities call an act of ‘violent extremism’ motivated by race. .
Federal agents have questioned the parents of Payton Gendron, the teenager who fired 50 shots at the store that killed 10, a law enforcement official said Sunday.
Gendron, 18, of Conklin, New York, pleaded “not guilty” to first-degree murder after Saturday’s attack. He is being held without bail and faces life in prison. The alleged murderer, who is due to appear again next Thursday, is currently on suicide watch and is being held in a separate unit from other inmatesErie County Sheriff John Garcia said at Sunday’s news conference.
Gendron’s parents, Paul and Pamela, were cooperating with investigators, the official said.
Police believe the attack had been planned for months, adding that they were investigating a 180-page manifesto Gendron allegedly released before he carried out the massacre which included a plan to travel to several counties to carry out the shooting of Tops Friendly Market.
Gendron traveled to Buffalo on Lake Erie – on the Canadian border – from his hometown of Conklin, over 200 miles awaysaid the police.
He was wearing a bulletproof vest, he was carrying an assault rifle., according to local police, who said that of the 10 dead and three injured, 11 were African Americans. Besides, Gendron wore a helmet equipped with a camera to broadcast his crime live on the internet.
President Joe Biden spoke about the event this Sunday during a service in honor of fallen American police officers: “We must all work together to fight against hate. it remains a stain on the soul of America,” he said. Yesterday he had already deplored the attack, calling it “domestic terrorism” and a blow to “a disgusting ideology of the white nationalism”.
Residents gathered outside the store for the vigil, while New York Governor Kathy Hochul, State Attorney General Letitia James and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown attended a service at True Baptist Church Bethel in the city.
Speakers decried this latest wave of racist violence and the ready availability of high-powered weaponry, which has become a sadly familiar scene across America.
Hochul, herself a Buffalo native, described the crime as a “military-style execution” (she said the shooter was carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle) and noted that the racist messages “are spread like wildfire”. Thus, the governor asked the leaders of the two political parties in Congress to “make sure that these people go back to their holes and stay there”. Speaking on ABC television, he described social media as “instruments of this evil” and said they allowed racist themes to “spread like a virus”.
The attack brought back memories of some of the worst racist attacks in the country’s recent history, including the 2015 murder of nine worshipers at a black church in South Carolina by a white youth, and the 2019 attack on a white man in Texas who claimed 23 lives, most of them Hispanic.
Gendron shot four people in the store’s parking lot before entering the store. Three of them died. Among those killed inside the store was a retired policeman who worked as an armed security guard. He was able to fire several shots at the assailant before being shot, police spokespersons said.
When the officers arrived, the assailant put the gun to his neck threatening to shoot himself, but was eventually deterred and surrendered.
The victims were ordinary customers and store employees. Una, según una publication en la red Twitter, era una “madre, abuela y misionera” de 77 años a la que “le encantaba cantar, bailar y estar con la familia” y que Durante 25 años había montado una despensa semanal para alimentar a poor people.
During a Sunday vigil at the Elim Christian Fellowship Church in Buffalo, Pastor T. Anthony Bronner urged both prayer and political action in response to the attack. “Some of us are very angry this morning,” the pastor said, but “we are responding with our prayers, and we are responding with our feet.”
The shooting is under investigation a ‘hate crime’ and a ‘case of racially motivated violent extremism’Stephen Belongia, special agent in charge of the FBI’s field office in Buffalo, told reporters.
In addition to mentioning the South Carolina church shooting, The attacker claimed he was “inspired” by the gunman who killed 51 people at a New Zealand mosque in March 2019. The semi-automatic weapon used in Saturday’s shooting also had a racial epithet written on the barrel, according to local newspaper The Buffalo News, citing a local official.
If the perpetrator is found guilty, He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In a video call to True Bethel Baptist Church, New York Senator Charles Schumer called racism “America’s poison” and said bluntly, “We must fight the scourge of gun violence and finally ban the weapons of war in our streets”.