Accused Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron was hospitalized and underwent a mental health evaluation in 2021 after he threatened to shoot his high school classmates.
The 18-year-old accused of killing 10 people and wounding three others at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo on Saturday was investigated by state police last year after making threatening comments to classmates, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said.
‘A school official reported that this very troubled young man had made statements indicating that he wanted to do a shooting, either at a graduation ceremony, or sometime after,’ a government official told The Buffalo News.
Following their investigation into Gendron, he was referred for a mental health evaluation and counseling, the official said.
Gendron ‘went to a local hospital, he was there for about a day and a half, evaluated and released,’ Gramaglia said.
A racist and hate-filled, 180-page manifesto, allegedly penned by the teen, has circulated on social media in the wake of the deadly shooting, which authorities are investigating as a racially motivated hate crime.
‘There was nothing picked up on the State Police intelligence. Nothing that was picked up on the FBI intelligence. Nobody called in any complaint,’ Gramaglia said.
The police commissioner said that all evidence thus far leads officials to believe the attack was a ‘racist hate crime.’
‘The evidence that we have uncovered so far, make no mistake that this is an absolute racist hate crime,’ Gramaglia said. ‘It will be prosecuted as a hate crime. This is someone who has hate in their heart, soul and mind.’
Gendron, who drove 200 miles from his home of Conklin to Buffalo for the planned attack, was arraigned on first-degree murder charges Saturday night. He pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.
If found guilty, he faces a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole.
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