Who is Payton S. Gendron? Buffalo mass shooting suspect identified as 10 killed in “racially motivated” rampage 

Buffalo mass shooting suspect has been identified as 18-year-old Payton S Gendron (Image via Mel Orlins/Twitter and Asher Black/Twitter)
Buffalo mass shooting suspect has been identified as 18-year-old Payton S Gendron (Image via Mel Orlins/Twitter and Asher Black/Twitter)

Buffalo mass shooting suspect Payton S. Gendron has reportedly been identified and arraigned on a first-degree murder charge. At around 2.30 pm on Saturday, May 14, the suspect reportedly carried out a rampage at the Tops Friendly Market at 1275 Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo.

The teenager shot 13 people and also streamed the attack on social media. The shooting left 10 people dead and three wounded. Around 11 victims of the attack were African-Americans and two were white.

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Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said in an official statement that the attack was “pure evil” and “racially motivated” in nature:

“Straight up racially motivated, hate crime from somebody outside of our community — outside of the City of Good Neighbors, as the mayor said — coming into our community and trying to inflict evil upon us.”

According to The Guardian, city police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia pulled over at the Buffalo Tops Friendly Market and started shooting while streaming the attack on Twitch through a camera on his helmet:

“He exited his vehicle. He was very heavily armed. He had tactical gear. He had a tactical helmet on. He had a camera that he was livestreaming what he was doing.”
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Officer Gramaglia added that Gendron initially shot four people outside the supermarket, three of whom died on the spot. A retired Buffalo police officer who served as a security guard fired shots at the gunman from inside the store. The guard also managed to strike him, but he was saved by his bulletproof vest.

Shortly after, Gendron killed the security guard before shooting others, including four employees at the store. The suspect reportedly attempted to shoot himself after Buffalo Police arrived at the venue but eventually surrendered.


Everything to know about Buffalo mass shooting suspect Payton S. Gendron

Payton S. Gendron has been hailed as a "white supremacist" by law enforcement authorities (Image via Tsgt Kevin Edwards/Twitter)
Payton S. Gendron has been hailed as a "white supremacist" by law enforcement authorities (Image via Tsgt Kevin Edwards/Twitter)

Payton S. Gendron is an 18-year-old Caucasian man who allegedly shot and killed 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday. He hails from Conklin, New York, near Binghamton in Broome County and reportedly traveled three hours to carry out the mass shooting in Tops Friendly Market.

The teenager was reportedly wearing military fatigues, body armor, and tactical gear during the shootout and also had a recording device to film the incident. The Associated Press has reportedly interviewed Gendron’s parents, who are cooperating with the investigation.

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Gendron’s neighbors told ABC News that the teen is a former student at Broome Community College, part of the State University of New York college system. In June 2021, Susquehanna Valley High School authorities called Broome County law enforcement officials to report that Gendron had allegedly threatened to organize a shooting during a graduation ceremony at the time.

However, no charges were filed against the suspect, and he only received a mental health evaluation and counseling following the investigation. Authorities also told the publication that Gendron has previously posted racially motivated violent views online.

He allegedly wrote and shared a 180-page document that contained “hate-filled” writing about the notion of “replacement theory,” a white supremacist belief that non-whites will eventually replace Caucasian individuals in the world as they have higher birth rates.

The suspect also allegedly outlined a plan for the Buffalo attack in his document, including time and place, and wrote that he selected the location because of the significant number of African-American individuals present in the area.

In some of his online posts, Gendron has also praised other mass shooters who have carried out racially motivated mass attacks in the past, like South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof, New Zealand mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant, and the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue shooter Robert Gregory Bowers.

Meanwhile, New York Governor Kathy Hochul told WABC that Gendron legally purchased the AR-15 assault-style rifle that was presumably used in a supermarket shooting in a gun store in Broome. The governor noted that Gendron’s “legally obtained weapon” was later modified to “illegal.”

According to the Erie County District Attorney's office, Payton S. Gendron was arraigned in Buffalo City Court on one count of first-degree murder following the Buffalo shooting incident. However, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn suggested that further charges could also be levied against the suspect in the future:

“My office is working closely with the U.S. Attorney's Office and our partners in law enforcement into potential terrorism and hate crimes. This is an active investigation and additional charges may be filed.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in an official statement that the U.S. Department of Justice also confirmed that it is investigating the shooting as “a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism”:

“The Justice Department is committed to conducting a thorough and expeditious investigation into this shooting and to seeking justice for these innocent victims.”
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Gendron reportedly pled not guilty to the charges after his arraignment. He is currently detained in custody without bail. Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said Gendron was also under suicide watch with direct video surveillance from deputies as he placed a gun on his chin.

He is reportedly kept in a unit separate from other inmates and will also receive all required mental health services while he is in custody. Gendron’s next hearing date is scheduled for May 19. If convicted, the teenager could face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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Edited by Siddharth Satish