Buffalo shooting suspect penned chilling handwritten note to his family

Buffalo shooting suspect penned chilling handwritten note to his family
FBI agents found a handwritten note inside 18-year-old Payton Gendron’s bedroom in his family home in Conklin, 纽约

水牛 shooting suspect Payton Gendron left a chilling note for his family where he told them he was carrying out the mass shooting that killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo grocery store “for the future of the white race”, federal prosecutors have revealed.

FBI agents found a handwritten note inside the white supremacist’s bedroom in his family home in Conklin, 纽约, when they executed a search at the address one day after the 14 May massacre.

In the note, the white 18-year-old apologised to his family for committing “this attack” but claimed that he did it because he cares “for the future of the White race”, according to a federal criminal complaint released on Wednesday.

Mr Gendron signed the note and addressed it to his family members, the complaint states.

The search also uncovered a receipt dated 8 March for the purchase of a candy bar from the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, 纽约, where the gunman went on the horrific rampage, 射击 13 victims – 10 of them fatally.

Handwritten sketches of what appear to be the interior layout of the grocery store were also found, according to prosecutors.

The chilling new details were revealed in documents on Wednesday as the Justice Department charged Mr Gendron with federal hate crimes over last month’s mass shooting.

The suspect was slapped with 26 charges in total including: 10 counts of hate crime resulting in death, three counts involving bodily injury and attempt to kill, 10 counts of use of a firearm to commit murder and in retaliation to a crime of violence and three counts of use and discharge of a firearm during and in retaliation to a crime of violence.

Prosecutors said the hate crime charges were brought because “Gendron’s motive for the mass shooting was to prevent Black people from replacing white people and eliminating the white race, and to inspire others to commit similar attacks”.

如果被定罪, he faces the death penalty or life in prison.

The federal charges come the same day that Attorney General Merrick Garland is travelling to Buffalo to visit the site of the mass shooting and meet with victims’ family members and survivors of the attack.

In the days after the massacre, Mr Garland had vowed to “relentlessly” investigate the mass shooting as a hate crime and racially-motivated violent extremism.

The federal charges come on top of 25 state charges against the suspected gunman including 10 counts of first-degree murder and domestic terrorism motivated by hate in the first degree earlier this month.

The state terrorism charge came into law in the state in November 2020 and Mr Gendron is the first person to ever be charged with it.

At around 2.30pm on Saturday 14 可能, Mr Gendron allegedly drove from his home in Conklin, 纽约, to the Tops Friendly Market grocery store, handpicking the city of Buffalo to carry out the attack because of its predominantly Black population.

Dressed in tactical gear and armed with a semi-automatic rifle, he opened fire outside the store first before moving through the store aisles shooting more victims.

<p>Payton Gendron pictured in court hours after the attack </磷>

Payton Gendron pictured in court hours after the attack

Prosecutors said that Mr Gendron turned and aimed his assault rifle at a white male store employee who had already been shot in the leg.

But instead of shooting and killing the white man, the 18-year-old gunman said “sorry” to him and left him alone.

Prosecutors said the suspect then carried on “moving on through the rest of the store in search of more Black people to shoot and kill”, killing four more Black people after that moment.

总共, 13 people were shot in the attack, 10 of them fatally.

总共, 11 的 13 victims were Black and all 10 of those killed were Black.

The gunman fired around 60 shots in total during the attack.

In a self-described manifesto posted online, Mr Gendron detailed his plans to shoot and kill Black people at the Tops grocery as a “white man seeking to protect and serve my community, my people, my culture, and my race”, according to prosecutors.

He said that he had been planning the attack for a few years but “actually got serious” about it in the beginning of January 2022.

Mr Gendron wrote that he specifically targeted the Buffalo area because of its high percentage of Black people as his goal was to “kill as many blacks as possible”, prosecutors said.

In the manifesto, the 18-year-old also called himself a racist, white supremacist and antisemite and detailed how he had been inspired by other white supremacist mass shooters to carry out the attack.

He also cited the debunked “great replacement theory”which has repeatedly been echoed by right-wing personalities such as Fox News’ Tucker Carlson – an extremist conspiracy theory that falsely claims there is a plot to diminish the influence of white people.

Following Mr Gendron’s arrest, he then made “disturbing statements” about his motive, making clear that he was “filled with hate toward the Black community” and was targeting Black people, officials have said previously.

Racist slurs and the names of others who have committed mass shootings were scrawled on the assault rifle used in the attack, along with the phrases “Here’s your reparations!” and “The Great Replacement”, prosecutors said.

Leading up to the attack, the suspect visited the grocery store to scout the location on several occasions.

<p>牧师. Al Sharpton at a service for the victims of the shooting &l磷;/p>

牧师. Al Sharpton at a service for the victims of the shooting

His last time scouting out the store came at around midday on the day of the attack when he “observed a ‘healthy amount of old and young’ Black people in the store and noted where the security guard was positioned”, prosecutors said.

Two-and-a-half hours later, he returned to carry out the mass shooting.

The mass shooting in Buffalo came just 10 days before 21 people – 19 students aged nine to 11 years old and two teachers – were shot and killed at a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on 24 可能.

Gunman Salvador Ramos, 18, also used a semi-automatic rifle in that attack.

Just over one week later on 1 六月, four people were then shot and killed at a medical centre in Tulsa, 俄克拉荷马州.

上个星期, victims’ families and survivors of the Buffalo and Uvalde shootings testified before the House Oversight Committee as calls are mounting on lawmakers to tighten gun regulations to prevent more families from being torn apart by the nation’s growing numbers of mass shootings.

Zeneta Everhart, the mother of Buffalo survivor Zaire Goodman, gave emotional testimony inviting lawmakers to come to her home and clean the wounds on her son’s bullet-ridden body if they continue to refuse to tackle America’s escalating gun violence.

“To the lawmakers who feel that we do not need stricter gun laws let me paint a picture for you: My son Zaire has a hole in the right side of his neck, two on his back, and another on his left leg, caused by an exploding bullet from an AR-15,” she told lawmakers.

“If after hearing from me and the other people testifying here today, does not move you to act on gun laws, I invite you to my home to help me clean Zaire’s wounds so that you may see up close the damage that has been caused to my son and to my community.”

本周早些时候, a bipartisan group of senators said they had reached a deal on a package of narrow gun safety measures.

The deal includes expanding background checks for people aged 18 至 21 and more money for school safety and mental health resources.

It does not include a ban on assault weapons like many are calling for, after high capacity rifles were used in the recent attacks to kill multiple people.