The gunman who opened fire at a Buffalo supermarket killing 10 people on Saturday had threatened his school and had undergone a mental health evaluation last year, authorities confirmed, but was not determined to be in imminent danger.
“He made a threat to a high school and had a mental health evaluation. We understand it was a generic threat, not specific to a place or a person,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said at a news conference this week. Sunday.
According to a law enforcement source who spoke to The Associated Press, Payton S. Gendron, an 18-year-old white man, had been on authorities’ radar since last year when he threatened to carry out a shooting at the Susquehanna High School in Conklin Township, New York.
Authorities received the report of the threatening statements on June 8 and submitted the young man, 17 years old at the time, to a mental evaluation.
The police insisted that the crime is being investigated as a racist attack, since Gendron apparently would have published messages of white supremacy and hatred against the black community, especially, but also against Jews and immigrants.
They also said that he had been in Buffalo since the previous day to reconnoitre the area.
“This individual came here with the express purpose of taking as many black lives as it could,” Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said.
[“Abominable para la estructura misma de la nación”: Biden condena el tiroteo racista en Buffalo. El atacante dejó un documento escalofriante]
At an event on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, President Joe Biden assured that the tragedy is “a stain on the soul of the United States.” He added that “the hearts of the nation are filled with sorrow once again. But our determination must never, never fail.”
Gendron permanent in police custody and suicide watch by the authorities, since, before being captured just after the shooting, he pointed the rifle at his own neck, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the most used in mass shootings in the United States and which is legal to buy.
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The FBI offered a telephone line to give more information to the relatives of the victims. They added that the police responded in less than two minutes.