BUFFALO, N.Y. (NewsNation) — The Buffalo shooting suspect was confronted by a security guard at the Tops Friendly Market in March when he apparently went to assess the layout of the store, investigators say. Now, there are 10 victims that were killed in an attack at the market Saturday.
A manifesto by the suspect makes it clear the shooting was motivated by racist ideologies. Within its 180 pages, suspected gunman Payton Gendron had a step-by-step, minute-by-minute plan spelling out what he was going to do inside the grocery store.
Police confirmed that Gendron went to scout out the area in March. The manifesto states that at about 4 o’clock, he would park in front of the store right in front of the support beam, kick open the door and jump out of the car. From there, Gendron writes, “I first shoot the security guard and kill him by shooting through the front doors of the glass. I shouldn’t be in the camera’s blind spot. He should be at the entrance of the store if not at the cash register. I shoot all the Black people twice in the chest if possible. I turn left to the cash registers, open fire on the expected crowd of people. Some will run away along the aisles. I make sure I never stop firing.”
Gendron also sketched out a rough map of the store, saying he had checked reviews and noted that the grocer was notorious for slow service. He planned to enter the store and make a large loop around the aisles, even noting where he thought a security guard would be stationed.
The attack was streamed live on Twitch for less than two minutes before it was taken down.
Based off of the footage and police statements, here’s what we know happened:
At 2:30 p.m., the suspected gunman arrived at the grocery store, entering the parking lot from the north. He parked close to the entrance but not in a parking spot.
He waited for a moment, then exited the car and almost immediately began shooting, killing three people before even entering the grocery store.
From there, he walked into the store and turned left, firing at anyone in his path. He shot at people hiding on the ground and moved closer to the center of the store.
There, he is hit by a bullet in an exchange of gunfire with a store security guard. The bullet hits his body armor and he turns and shoots the security guard, killing him.
Then, the live video stopped. So the shooter’s next movements are not clear. Investigators do know the suspect spent the next several minutes moving around the store shooting six more people, and killing four of them.
Ultimately, he returned to the front of the store where he was confronted by local police officers in the entrance of the store. Police say he pointed his rifle at his own neck, presumably to kill himself. But the responding officers persuaded him to surrender, and he put the gun down. He was then taken into custody.
The horrific shooting left 10 people dead, but according to the manifesto, the gunman had more means to shoot more people. He reportedly had two other guns inside his car and wanted to travel around the community and shoot anyone he saw that was Black.
Gendron has entered a not guilty plea to murder. He could face federal hate crime charges.