Payton Gendron, 18, threatened to shoot up Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna High School last year around graduation
The teenager suspected of killing 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York admitted that he was targeting the black community when he carried out the massacre, authorities said.
Payton Gendron, 18, issued several ‘clear and hate-fi.It will be prosecuted as a hate crime,’ Buffalo police commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said. ‘This is someone who has hate in their heart, soul and mind.’
It was also revealed Sunday that Gendron was not on law enforcement’s radar – despite having made a school shooting threat last year.
The teen, who surrendered to police outside a Tops grocery store in Buffalo on Saturday after firing a barrage of 50 shots at the store, underwent a mental health evaluation last summer after he threatened to open fire at his high school.
Police were called to Gendron’s high school in Conklin, New York, located near the border, on June 8, 2021 after he made a threatening statement, authorities revealed during a press conference Sunday.
‘The state police responded.They investigated. They interviewed the subject. And they felt at the time it was appropriate to have that individual brought in for a mental health evaluation,’ Gramaglia explained.
Gramaglia said the threat was not racist and not directed at a specific person or place. However, an unnamed law enforcement source told Gendron, then-17, had threatened to shoot up Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna High School around graduation.
The teen underwent a mental health evaluation and, after spending a day-and-a-half in the hospital, was released.Gramaglia said that after his release, Gendron had no further contact with law enforcement.
‘Nobody called in,’ the police commissioner said. ‘Nobody called any complaints.’
New York Governor Kathy Hochul told on Sunday that an investigation would focus on what could have been done to stop Gendron, since he had advertised his views online and had been on authorities’ radar.
‘I want to know what people knew, and when they knew it,’ she said, adding the probe would be ‘calling upon our law enforcement as well as our social media platforms.’
Gendron, of Conklin, NY, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder following Saturday’s attack. Officials say more charges are likely.Gendron is being held without bail and faces life in prison.
Police believe he planned the attack for months before driving three hours to Buffalo to carry out the vile ambush that authorities are calling an act of ‘violent extremism’ motivated by race.
The alleged killer, who is hosting any website is due back in court on Thursday, is currently on suicide watch and is being held in a separate unit from other inmates, the sheriff of Erie County, John Garcia, said at the news conference Sunday.
Erie County District Attorney John J.Flynn said in a press release Saturday: ‘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.’
President Joe Biden will travel to Buffalo on Tuesday to meet with the families of mass shooting victims, the White House confirmed to