Federal authorities are warning law enforcement nationwide to stay vigilant, four months after the Buffalo supermarket mass shooting, where a white suspect drove several hours and carried out an attack that killed 10 Black people. Beforehand, the suspect shared his white supremacist manifesto online.
Last week, both the FBI and DHS released a bulletin last week, noting accused gunman Payton Gendron’s online postings prior to the attack, have the potential to inspire copycats and “will likely” enhance the capabilities of potential mass shooters.
According to CBS News, the bulletin says, “The alleged attacker prioritized creating a comprehensive ‘how-to’ guide for future attackers, including guidance on bolstering opportunities for maximum casualties and optimizing personal defense.”
While investigators refrain from stating exactly how many people have accessed Gendron’s manifesto, they believe he had invited several individuals to view his private online diary minutes prior to the attack. Back in May, it was reported that among the alleged viewers was a retired federal agent, who officials believed had about 30 minutes advance notice on the attack.
The bulletin in itself shows that the concern has risen in the months since the mass shooting. As federal law enforcement is faced with an uptick of racist, extremist online chatter, the hope with the bulletin is that local police, as well as community members, can connect the dots and spot red flags to any potential threats.
Gendron, now 19, faces 14 federal hate crime charges and 13 charges of using a firearm to commit hate crimes for the May 14 attack at the Jefferson Avenue grocery store. He is accused of targeting Black people in the violence that left 10 people dead and three injured.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The Department of Justice has not said whether it plans to seek the death penalty.
The Tops Friendly Market has since reopened in Buffalo.