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Buffalo Market Shooting Suspect Had Mental Health Check Last Year

Updated: May 16, 2022

The teenager suspected of killing 10 people in a hate crime at a Buffalo supermarket Saturday was brought to a hospital by state police last year for a mental-health evaluation after expressing his desire to carry out a mass shooting, Payton Gendron, 18d, wrote at high school about wanting to shoot people. Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia confirmed that Gendron was released from the hospital a day and a half later. In a document posted online that police believe he wrote, the writer escribes himself as a fascist, a white supremacist, a racist and anti-Semitic. The document includes details of a planned incident similar to Saturday, including the writer’s goal to kill as many Black people as possible, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The store where the shooting took place is in a largely Black neighborhood of Buffalo. Eleven of the people shot were Black and two were white. “The evidence that we have uncovered so far makes no mistake that this is an absolute racist hate crime,” A gunman wearing military-style clothing and body armor opened fire with a rifle at a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo,, the Associated Press reports. Gendron was streaming the shooting through a camera affixed to his helmet. The video showed the gunman pulling up to the store with a rifle on the front seat and then pointing the rifle at people in the parking lot as he exited the vehicle and opened fire. It also shows the suspect walking into the supermarket and shooting several others inside. One victim was a recently retired police officer working as a security guard. The shooting came little more than a year after a March 2021 attack at a King Soopers grocery in Boulder, Co., that killed 10 people. Investigators have not released information about why they believe the man charged in that attack targeted the supermarket.


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