The gunman who killed 10 people in a racist attack at an upstate New York grocery store appears to have had the name of a white woman who was run over at a Christmas parade in Wisconsin last year scrawled on his gun.
Photos of the rifle used by Payton Gendron, 18, in the live-streamed massacre show the misspelled name of Virginia Sorenson.
Sorenson, 79, was at the Waukesha Christmas to perform as part of the ‘Dancing Grannies’ troupe when a man in an SUV plowed into the crowd, killing her and five others.
The assailant in the November attack, Darrell Edward Brooks, is a black man who had shared social media posts promoting Black Lives Matter and violence toward white people.
Gendron shot a total of 13 people at the Tops Friendly Supermarket in Buffalo at about 2.30pm on Saturday.
The teenager, described as an outcast with extreme views, had a 180-page manifesto that focused on the ‘great replacement theory,’ which holds that whites are being deliberately outnumbered in the US by migrants from other countries to skew elections in favor of the Democrats.
Photos of the rifle used by Payton Gendron on Saturday show what looks like the misspelled name of Waukesha Christmas parade victim Virginia Sorenson
Sorenson, 79, was one of six people killed when a black driver plowed into a crowd at the Wisconsin parade last November
Darrell Brooks had shared social media posts promoting Black Lives Matter and violence toward white people before he rammed an SUV into a crowd of children and elderly people
Payton Gendron, 18, shot a total of 13 people at the Tops Friendly Supermarket in Buffalo at about 2.30pm on Saturday after writing a racist manifesto
Buffalo police did not respond to questions about the writing on the gun, the Daily Beast reports.
Photos of the rifle used in the shooting appear to show Virginia Sorenson’s misspelled name along with the N-word written across the barrel.
Sorenson was killed on November 21 during the Waukesha Christmas parade attack.
She was one of four members of the ‘Dancing Grannies’ that were mowed down by Darrell Brooks, who had espoused his own controversial views about race.
In a Facebook post from June 9, 2020, Brooks wrote: ‘LEARNED ND TAUGHT BEHAVIOR!! so when we start bakk knokkin white people TF out ion wanna hear it…the old white ppl 2, KNOKK DEM TF OUT!! PERIOD..’ followed by a middle finger and expletive emoji.
The posts were among several that emerged in the wake of his arrest after he drove his red Ford SUV in a crowd of kids and elderly dancing groups during the parade in the Milwaukee suburb.
Waukesha police later determined that Brooks had not planned the attack and that he did not seek to target any specific ethnic or racial group.
On Saturday evening, Payton Gendron pled not guilty to one first degree murder charge for his supermarket rampage.
Gendron, of Conklin, New York, was barefoot, masked and wearing a paper smock.
Terrifying video posted to social media shows a speeding red SUV collide into a group of people marching in the middle of the street during the annual holiday parade in Waukesha, some 20 miles west of downtown Milwaukee
Brooks shared a series of links and memes relating to race and white privilege in June 2020, when protests erupted over the death of George Floyd
He told the judge that he understood the charge against and was not guilty at his arraignment.
He has only been charged with one count of first-degree murder.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said the judge ordered a forensic examination and ordered him held without bail.
‘We have taken the necessary steps to get him behind bars,’ he said. ‘That was justice. Getting that first murder charge filed immediately.’
The DA said that they are working with federal authorities to bring further terrorism, hate crime and murder charges.
Gendron’s 180-page Google Drive document detailed his twisted reasons for carrying out Saturday’s massacre at the Top Market supermarket.
Buffalo shooter Payton Gendron is pictured at his arraignment hearing Saturday night, after being charged with a single count of first-degree murder. Further charges are almost certain to follow
Gendron donned a paper outfit and mask for the hearing, and was barefoot. He spoke only to confirm that he understands the charge that he faces, with his lawyer saying that he intended to deny the allegations
Payton Gendron is arrested Saturday after killing 10 people at a Tops Market supermarket in Buffalo, Upstate New York
A large part of the manifesto focused on the ‘great replacement theory.’
Gendron said he’d chosen to target the upstate New York store because it sat in the zip code 14208, which he said ‘has the highest black percentage that is close to where I live.’
He included a rudimentary map of the store, but didn’t name it prior to the shooting, saying he didn’t want to tip anyone off should his manifesto end up in the hands of law enforcement.
The manifesto said that he’d been radicalized entirely by the internet – rather than anyone he’d met in real life – and added that he’d been inspired by Brenton Tarrant.
Tarrant is a white supremacist who live-streamed himself murdering 51 Muslims at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019.
Gendron said: ‘The truth is my personal life and experiences are of no value.’
Gendron said Tarrant ‘radicalized him the most’ while discussing what had spurred him to shoot 13 people, 10 of them fatally.
Gendron’s manifesto has been taken down, with anyone who clicks on a link to it shown this message saying it has violated Google’s terms of service
Gendron listed his top inspiration as New Zealand mosque killer Brenton Tarrant, who live-streamed himself murdering 51 Muslims in 2019
Also named as an inspiration in the manifesto was white supremacist mass-murderer Dylann Roof, who killed nine black worshippers at a South Carolina church in 2015.
And Norwegian killer Anders Breivik – who massacred 77 people in 2011 – was also cited as an inspiration by Gendron.
The Google Document that contained Gendron’s manifesto remained online for several hours.
It was later taken down after Google said its contents had violated the web giant’s terms of service.
Screen grabs of its contents remain online.
Gendron, pictured before the massacre, said he’d been radicalized by the internet, and says he chose his target site because it had the highest black population that was relatively-close to him
The gunman discussed his hatred of blacks, Jews, left-wing people and transgender people.
He also offered biographical detail of his mundane life, saying he’d grown up in Conklin, New York, around three-and-a-half-hours away from Buffalo.
Gendron added: ‘I was never diagnosed with a mental disability or disorder,’ he wrote. I believe to be perfectly sane.’
The troubled teenager had threatened to shoot up his high school graduation last year, according to school officials.
Officials at the Susquehanna Valley High School brought in New York State Police to investigate Gendron last June, after he made statements that he would shoot fellow students.
‘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 source told the Buffalo News.
Payton Gendron, 18, far left, holds a harmless facsimile to the automatic rifles that he used to murder 10 people in a Buffalo supermarket
After police looked into the account, Gendron was referred for mental health evaluation and counseling.
Classmates said that he often acted strangely at times and espoused extremist views on politics.
Last year, one former student recalled, Gendron wore a hazmat suit to school for a week. She believed it had something to do with protecting himself from the coronavirus, but she didn’t rule out the fact that he was making a joke.
‘It was the most extra thing that I ever saw him do,’ a former classmate who asked not to be named said.
During a class exercise in political class in which the students created their own countries with the government of their choice, Gendron’s pick was an autocratic regime that the classmate described as ‘Hitler-esque.’
‘His views were extreme,’ the student said. ‘You could pick any form of government that you wanted and he picked a totalitarian government.’
The classmate recalled that he almost collided with her head on in his car, but she brushed it off at the time to careless driving.
‘He was definitely into video games – shooter games,’ she said.
‘It’s so mind-blowing to think that it could have been us,’ she said. ‘I know he had his manifesto, but what if he decided to do a test run on us.’
For the most part he was quiet, but she said he would ‘smile weirdly’ when he spoke to people. She said she didn’t remember him ever having a girlfriend.
Gendron is one of four boys born to Paul and Pamela Gendron, two civil engineers with the state who live in Conklin, NY, three and half hours south of Buffalo. Paul coached his kids in the town soccer league and at least one neighbor found him ‘strange.’ His mother appeared conceited, locals said.
Payton traveled from his home in Conklin, New York, to carry out the atrocity. He lived there with his father Paul (pictured unpixellated) and mom Pamela, pictured in red, both of whom are engineers for the New York Department of Transportation
Payton and his mom, Pamela Gendron, enjoy a day out at the amusement park. Neighbors say that outwardly they appeared to be the perfect family
‘He’s from this pristine family,’ a schoolmate said. ‘They have everything together, they were just perfect.’
In photos posted by his mother on Facebook, Payton Gendron appears to tower over his father and others.
‘He was 6’1’ or 6’2” his schoolmate said. ‘He was a big guy.’
The family appears to be a tight-knit suburban family that played LaserTag together, when to Autumn festivals, the beach and dined together in restaurants.
Neighbors said they were odd.
‘To be honest, the mother was kind of snooty,’ a local parent who asked not to be named said. ‘Like she was better than everyone else. The father was strange. Like when you meet someone and they just seem off.’
Retired Buffalo Police Department cop Aaron Salter, pictured right, has been named as the first victim of the tragedy. He was working as a store security guard and shot Gendron, who returned fire and killed Salter
Ruth Witfield, 86, the mother of former Buffalo fire commissioner Garnell Witfield was also killed in the murder spree
A neighbor recalled him bringing home a human-sized Brontosaurus that he build for a school project. School records show that he was a good student and made high honors in his senior year, scoring higher than 92 percent in all his classes.
Facebook photos show that Gendron went on a few college tours and spent some time enrolled in Broome County Community College. A college spokeswoman told he Buffalo News that he was no longer enrolled.
‘They have a really nice family,’ neighbor Nancy Santucci said. ‘They seem like regular people. In a million years I never would think that anyone from this neighborhood would drive to Buffalo to carry out a racially motivated shooting.’
‘I’m just shocked,’ she said.