Buffalo Mass Shooting


On May 14th, Saturday afternoon, Payton Gendron, an 18 year old boy from small town Conklin, New York decided he would spend his afternoon driving more than 200 miles to “Tops Friendly Market” supermarket in Buffalo, New York; where he would massacre 10 people and injury 3 more. Majority were black and the incident is now classified according to the police as “a racially motivated violent extremism.” This being one of the most deadliest racist mass shootings in recent American history. 

“I want to be clear, for my part, from everything we know, this was a targeted attack, a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism.” FBI Director Christopher A. Wray said.

The shooting seemed shocking when Americans first heard about it, but behind the tragedy is even more sinister. Gendron had been planning to commit some sort of hate crime mass shooting since mid-November. Police have collected five months worth of evidence to use against Gendron. The evidence consists of detailed online hate crime statements towards Black people from the past five months, over hundreds of messages of Gendron’s planning of the shooting, a manifesto, and stalking the routine of the supermarket months before with the motive of “shoot all blacks,” according to one of the messages found. The attack was also live streamed onto the media outlet Twitch, but the platform removed the stream in under 2 minutes. 

Prior to the shooting, Gendron was seen as another 18-year-old boy with troubling issues. In some of the messages found, Gendron would also journal about his life. In some instances the police found, he described the time that he had killed and mutilated a cat and the time back in June 2021 where he had to get a psychiatric evaluation at a medical facility after coming out in his high school class about planning to commit a “murder/suicide.”

From all of the information collected, Gendron calculated he could shoot more than three dozen people fatally. His intention overall was to attack more than one location in Buffalo, an area with a high majority of Black residents. At the end of March, Gendron thought of other areas to attack such as schools and churches with a high majority of Black people. He added in his messages that when he was surveying Hops that he had counted all the people in the market based on their skin color, he wrote that he had seen 53 Black people, 6 White people, and 2 Black security guards. 

Why would this 18 year old boy have the audacity to shoot up a supermarket with the intention to kill? The reasoning behind Gendron’s actions was because he strongly believes in a severely racist theory that non white people came to the US as replacements for the white population, under political reasoning. Gendron would cite and post racist social media posts about “inferior” races and slurred non White people as “replacers.” 

There were a total of 10 victims killed and 3 are hospitalized. The victims are 77 year old Pearl Young, 86 year old Ruth Whitfield, 53 year old Andre Mackniel, 72 year old Katherine “Kat” Massey, 65 year old Celestine Chaney, 52 year old Margus D. Morrison, 67 year old Heyward Patterson, 55 year old Aaron Salter Jr, 32 year old Roberta Drury, and 62 year old Geraldine Talley. May their souls rest in peace. 

Currrently, the shooter is expected to face life in prison for first degree murder, yet has not been sentenced yet due to the fact that the procecutors are getting more time to build on their case. There will be a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to a trial on June 9th. As of now, he will be held without bail until it is decided to have a trial.