Tops Shooting in Buffalo, New York



Buffalo supermarket mass shooting scene. News 4 Buffalo.

On Saturday, May 14, 2022, eighteen-year-old Payton Gendron brought a gun into Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo, New York, and opened fire on the employees and shoppers.

The shooting took place on the Eastern side of Kingsley, a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo.

Gendron shot thirteen people, killing ten and injuring three. This has been proven to be a racially motivated attack.

To fully understand the shooting, it is important to look back to where this first started.

At the beginning of the pandemic, most of us began to indulge more into social media sites.

Whether it was for comfort and to help reduce the feelings of loneliness and isolation, or for more updates on the current Covid-19 news in our area, social media sites experienced a large boom of new users during the pandemic.

4chan and 8chan are largely unmoderated sites that the gunman had been associated with since lockdown first began in March 2020.

Gendron had “written” a 180 page manifesto that mainly consisted of copy and paste sections from users on the sites mentioned above. In this manifesto he mentioned “The Great Replacement”, which is a theory largely held by white supremacists that entails that the white population is being “replaced” with people who are not white.

Shortly before the shooting began, the shooter opened up a discord chatroom that fifteen people joined. Though it is unknown what exactly was discussed in this chatroom, officials have said that Grendon titled the chatroom “Happening: This is Not a Drill.”
The shooter also live streamed the horrific actions on the streaming platform Twitch. Though only twenty-two people were watching the livestream in real time, the video remains online and is still being spread across varying platforms like Youtube and Twitter.

Reports have come out in regards to police response to the shooting, more specifically, a 911 operator. After the first shots were fired, Latisha Rogers, an employee at Tops Friendly Markets, tried to call the police to report the incident and get aid.

After a 911 operator answered the phone call, the employee tried to whisper the situation at hand so as not to reveal where she was hiding to the shooter. Latisha explains that the operator was yelling at her, saying things like, “Why are you whispering? You don’t have to whisper.” Despite Latisha’s efforts in explaining that the shooter was still in the store and she was scared to be loud, the operator hung up on her. This operator has since been placed on leave while she waits for termination.

In terms of Payton Gendron’s sentencing, he appared in front of a court where he was charged with first-degree murder but plead not guilty. As of now, the FBI is still conducting further investigations to determine the possibilitypossibility of hate crime and terroism charges.