Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Buffalo Shooter’s Former Threat, Hospital Stay Face Scrutiny

Buffalo, NY ( Associated Press) — A white gunman accused of committing a racist massacre at a Buffalo supermarket made threatening comments last spring to bring police to his high school, but he was never charged with the crime and was subsequently charged with law enforcement. had no contact with His release from a hospital, officials said.

The revelation raised questions about whether his encounters with police and the mental health system were yet another chance to place a potential mass shooter under closer law enforcement investigation, help him, or ensure that he had a fatal shot. No access to firearms.

Officials said Sunday they were investigating attacks on predominantly black shoppers and workers at Top Friendly Market as a possible federal hate crime or act of domestic terrorism.

Peyton Gendron, 18, traveled nearly 200 miles (320 kilometers) from his home in Conklin, New York to Buffalo, police said.

Federal officials were still working to verify the authenticity of a racist 180-page document allegedly written by Gendron, which stated that the attack was aimed at all non-white, non-Christian people. To terrorize and get them to leave the country.

Law enforcement officers revealed Sunday that New York State Police personnel had been called to Gendron’s High School last June for a report that 17-year-old Gendron had made threatening statements.

A law enforcement officer said on condition of anonymity that Gendron had threatened to shoot at Susquehanna Valley High School in Conklin, New York, at the time of graduation. Officials were not authorized to speak publicly on the investigation.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Gendron had no further contact with law enforcement after a mental health assessment, which kept him in the hospital for a day and a half.

“No one called,” he said. “Nobody complained,” said Gramaglia. The threat was “general” in nature, he said, and not related to the breed.

New York is one of several states that have enacted “red flag” laws in recent years that were intended to try and prevent mass shootings by people who show warning signs that they are themselves or others. may be at risk.

Those laws allow law enforcement officers, a person’s family, or in some cases, medical professionals or school officials to petition a court to temporarily confiscate a troubled person’s firearms, or to prevent them from purchasing guns. give.

Federal law prohibits people from owning guns if a judge has determined they have a “mental defect” or have been coerced into a mental institution—but merely an assessment will not trigger an injunction.

It is unclear whether officials could have enforced a “red flag” law after the incident at Susquehanna Valley High School. Police and prosecutors would not provide details on the incident, or say when Gendron purchased the weapons used in the attack.

Missed opportunities to intervene include a long list of mass shootings in the US, including the 2018 massacre of 17 students at a high school in Parkland, Florida, where law enforcement officers received threatening statements from a gunman and more killings. There were many complaints about Two dozen people at a Texas church in 2017 by a former US Air Force soldier who were able to buy a gun despite a violent history.

Victims of Saturday’s attack in Buffalo included an 86-year-old woman who had just visited her husband in a nursing home, a man buying cakes for his grandson, a church deacon who helped people buy their grocery. goods and a supermarket with security guards to help take them home. ,

The shooter livestreamed the attack on Twitch, which set out to investigate how quickly social platforms react to violent videos.

President Joe Biden plans to visit Buffalo on Tuesday.

Gendron surrendered to the police who confronted him in the vestibule of the supermarket. He was produced later on Saturday on charges of murder. The family did not respond to the message.

A lengthy statement circulating online, attributing Gendron, outlines a racist ideology rooted in the belief that the United States should only belong to white people.

Parts of a Twitch video circulating online showed the gunman hitting several shoppers in less than a minute. At one point, he trains his weapon on a white man behind the checkout counter, but says “Sorry!” And don’t shoot.

A purported screenshot of the broadcast showed a racial slur on his rifle targeting black people.

Officials said he shot a total of 11 black men and two white men on Saturday.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Browne said at a news conference on Sunday, “This man came here with the clear intention of killing as many black people as possible.”

Associated Press reporters Robert Bumstead in Buffalo, Michael Hill in Albany, New York, Travis Lawler in Nashville and Jake Bleiberg in Dallas contributed reporting. Balsamo reported from Washington,


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