Law enforcement officials have described the Buffalo mass shooting that left 10 Black people dead on Saturday (May 14) as a hate crime. Now, authorities have uncovered social media posts made by the suspected Buffalo mass shooter that reveal he planned the attack for months and chose his target with intention.
Police say 18-year-old Payton Gendron posted on the chat app Discord and 4chan that he visited the Tops Friendly Market three times on March 8 to check out the store and see what time of day had the most customers.
According to the posts, Gendron had originally planned his attack for mid-March but delayed it. The online posts also indicate Gendron specifically chose the area because the zip code of the store had the highest Black population closest to where he lived.
Shonnell Teague, the Tops Friendly Market manager told reporters Gendron "disguised himself" as a homeless person the day before the attack in order to perform reconnaissance on the store. Teague said she asked Gendron to leave and he did so without question. The next time he was at the store, Teague said, was during the attack.
Authorities learned that Gendron had plans to continue the targeted violence if he'd escaped from the store. CNN obtained photos of the weapons Gendron used in the shooting which show phrases including "White Lives Matter" written on them.
A disturbing video appears to show the gunman apologizing after pointing a gun at a white customer and then sparing their life.
Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available:
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264
The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001
For more mental health resources, click HERE.