Police Say Buffalo Shooter Investigated Previously For Earlier Threat

REUTERS/Jeffrey T. Barnes

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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An 18-year-old shooting suspect in the Buffalo area was investigated months ago for making a threat at his high-school, according to police.

Payton Gendron is accused of opening fire Saturday at a Conklin, New York, supermarket and killing 10 people while live-streaming the incident on the platform Twitch.

But that wasn’t Gendron’s first run-in with the law, according to authorities. New York State Police spokesman Beau Duffy reportedly said authorities investigated Gendron on June 8, 2021.

“[Authorities] responded to Susquehanna High School in Conklin, N.Y., to investigate a report that a 17-year-old student had made a threatening statement,” Duffy said in a statement, according to The Washington Post. Gendron was taken into custody and “transported to the hospital for a mental health evaluation,” Duffy reportedly said.

“The information we have is he was there for a day and a half, was evaluated and then released at that point,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia reportedly said.

Gendron, who was originally not charged, allegedly made comments that stoked fear he would shoot people during graduation, according to The Washington Post. Gramaglia said “it was a generalized threat; not a specific threat made at a specific place or person.” (RELATED: One Dead, Several Injured At Laguna Woods Church Shooting)

Gendron opened fire Saturday at a supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood, according to BNO News. Prior to carrying out the attack, the suspected killer allegedly posted a 106-page manifest online in which he described himself as a “white supremacist” and “anti-Semite,” according to the report. Gendron was wearing military-style clothing and was armed with a rifle, The Associated Press reported.

Authorities arrived on scene and found multiple victims both inside and outside the supermarket, including one woman who was shot in the head as she walked out of the store.

Gramaglia also reportedly said that the shooter was planning on continuing his rampage.

Gendron was charged Saturday evening with first-degree murder, according to The Washington Post.