The 18-year-old terrorist who shot and killed ten people at a supermarket on Saturday afternoon in the heart of a Black community in Buffalo, appears to have been motivated by racist beliefs and has a history of making violent threats, according to authorities.
Payton S. Gendron traveled more than three hours from Conklin, New York, to the Tops Friendly Market, according to law enforcement, to carry out the racist/terrorist attack in a predominantly Black community.
He was wearing military fatigues, body armor and a tactical helmet when he shot four people in the parking lot of the Tops supermarket around 2:30 p.m. and then shot nine people inside before surrendering to authorities.
He was confronted by a retired Buffalo police officer working security who shot the suspect but without effect due to the suspect's body armor, police said.
The racist/white supremacist was arraigned on one count of first-degree murder to which he pleaded not guilty. He has been ordered to be held without bail, according to the Eric County District Attorney's office.
Law enforcement sources told ABC News the terrorist's racist beliefs may have been cultivated online and he appears to have expressed white supremacist views in his online postings.
A 180-page document believed to have been posted on the internet by the pale terrorist, is a hate-filled screed fixated on the notion of "replacement theory," a white supremacist belief that non-whites will eventually replace white people because they have higher birth rates, authorities said.
The racist/terrorist, the purported author of the document, espouses racist and anti-Semitic tropes throughout the document, which he appears to have posted before he carried out the terrorist attack, according to authorities.
Among the posts that investigators are looking at include online writings in which the white supremacist praises other white terrorists who were also motivated by racist ideology, including South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof, the New Zealand mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant and the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue shooter Robert Gregory Bowers.
In the document, the white terrorist also appears to outline a plan for his diabolical attack, including time and place, and writes that he chose this location because there is a high concentration of Black people in the area.
The terrorist's history
Neighbors of the Gendron family told ABC News that the terrorist is a former student at Broome Community College, part of the State University of New York college system -- a detail confirmed by a spokesperson for the school.
Police in Broome County, New York, were called by a local high school in June 2021 after they reported that the ruthless white brute threatened a shooting at graduation or during that time, law enforcement sources familiar with the matter confirmed to ABC News. Following a police investigation, no charges were filed against the racist/white supremacist, who received a mental health evaluation and counseling after the incident.
A home associated with the terrorist was searched by the FBI and New York state police, law enforcement officials and eyewitnesses confirmed to ABC News.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul told ABC station in New York, WABC, that the racist killer legally purchased the AR-15 assault-style rifle that was used in the supermarket shooting at a gun store in his home county of Broome.
But the "legally obtained weapon" was modified and became "illegal," Hochul said.
"It's mostly the illegal guns and magazine capacity enhancements that are causing a lot of problems in New York City and all the way here to Buffalo," she added.
The racist/terrorist was arraigned on Saturday evening before the Buffalo City Court on one count of first-degree murder, according to a statement from the Erie County District Attorney's office.
The terrorist entered a plea of not guilty. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to the DA's office.
But according to Erie County District Attorney John Flynn, further charges against the terrorist are possible.
"My office is working closely with the U.S. Attorney's Office and our partners in law enforcement into potential terrorism and hate crimes. This is an active investigation and additional charges may be filed," Flynn said in a statement.
The U.S. Department of Justice is also investigating the shooting as "a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.
"The Justice Department is committed to conducting a thorough and expeditious investigation into this shooting and to seeking justice for these innocent victims," Garland said.
The terrorist's next court hearing is set for May 19 and will remain in custody, where he is ordered to be held without bail, according to the DA's office.