Police: Buffalo shooter has sought to continue killing if he escapes
The white archer accused of racist rampage in a Buffalo supermarket plans to continue killing if he escapes scene, police commissioner said on May 16th as authorities investigate slaughter of blacks a is a potential hate crime or act of domestic terrorism.
The gunman, who crossed the state to head to Tops Friendly Market, where he killed 10 people, spoke of shooting at another store, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramagia told CNN.
“He would get in his car and keep driving down Jefferson Avenue and keep doing the same,” the commissioner said.
His description was similar to parts of a racist 180-page document allegedly written by Peyton Hendron, which said the attack was aimed at terrorizing all non-whites, non-Christians and forcing them to leave the country. Federal authorities are still working to verify the authenticity of the document.
Saturday’s Buffalo massacre was the deadliest in a wave of shootings over the weekend, including in California Church and a Texas Flea Market.
Hendron, 18, traveled about 200 miles (320 kilometers) from his home in Conklin, New York, to Buffalo to carry out the attack, police said.
Law enforcement officials revealed on Sunday that New York State Police had been called to Gendron High School last June to report that the 17-year-old had made threatening statements at the time.
The revelation raised questions about whether his meeting with police and the mental health system was another missed opportunity to put a potential mass gunman under closer scrutiny by law enforcement, help him or make sure he had no access to weapons.
Gendron has threatened to shoot at the Susquehanna Valley High School in Conklin around graduation, a law enforcement official said on condition of anonymity. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.
Gramagi said Hendron had no more contact with law enforcement after a mental health assessment that took him to hospital for a day and a half.
“No one called. No one has filed any complaints, “Gramagia said. The threat is “common” in nature, he said, and is not race-related.
New York is one of the few states that have passed red flag laws. in recent years, to try to prevent mass shootings by identifying people who show signs that they may pose a threat to themselves or others.
These laws allow law enforcement officers, a person’s family, or in some cases medical professionals or school staff, to petition the courts to temporarily seize a person’s weapon or to prevent the purchase of a weapon.
Federal law prohibits people from possessing weapons if a judge determines that they have a “mental defect” or have been forced into a psychiatric facility. An assessment alone would not trigger the ban.
It is unclear whether officials could have invoked the Red Flag ordinance following the high school incident. Police and prosecutors declined to give details of the incident or say when Hendron bought the weapons used in the deadly attack.
The long list of mass shootings in the United States, including missed intervention opportunities, includes 2018 slaughter of 17 students at a high school in Parkland, Florida, where law enforcement officials received numerous complaints about threatening statements by an armed man and the killing of more than two dozen people at a church in Texas in 2017 by a former Air Force member who managed to buy pistol despite the violent story.
IN victims in Buffalo included an 86-year-old woman who had just visited her husband in a nursing home, a man buying a cake for his grandson, a church deacon helping people go home with their groceries, and a supermarket security guard.
Authorities said Hendron shot a total of 11 blacks and two whites after researching the neighborhood’s demographics and conducting reconnaissance to do the most damage.
“This man came here with the explicit goal of taking as many black lives as possible,” said Mayor Byron Brown.
As we learned more about the victims, it became clear that most were elders, a difference that has historically had a bearing on black communities. The same goes for several of the nine blacks killed in 2015 in a racist attack on a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
The Buffalo gunman broadcasts live the attack on Twitch, which prompts research into how quickly social platforms respond to violent videos.
Portions of the video circulating online show the shooter killing multiple buyers in less than a minute. At one point, he points his weapon at a white man who is curled up behind the cash register, but says, “I’m sorry!” And doesn’t fire. The screenshots allegedly from the show appear to show a racist insult to blacks scratched on his rifle.
President Joe Biden plans to visit Buffalo on May 17.
Hendron turned himself in to police, who confronted him in the lobby of the supermarket. He was charged with murder. Relatives did not respond to reports.
Associated Press reporters Robert Bumstead in Buffalo, Michael Hill in Albany, New York, Travis Lawler in Nashville and Jake Bleiberg in Dallas contributed to the reports. Balsamo reported from Washington.
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