Buffalo shooting: Payton Gendron, gunman accused of killing 10, made anti-Semitic references to New Jersey communities in manifesto

The 18-year-old gunman who opened fire at a Buffalo supermarket Saturday afternoon, killing 10 black people in a racially motivated rampage, referenced three New Jersey cities in a 180-page manifesto he released before the shooting. .

Hasidic Jewish communities in Lakewood, Toms River and Jersey City were specifically mentioned in gunman Payton Gendron’s writings on anti-Semitism, part of a larger document exposing the alleged racial motivations of the deadly attack.

Lakewood and Toms River are in Ocean County, while Jersey City is in Hudson County. All three communities have growing Orthodox Jewish populations.

“Once we became aware of the mention, we reached out to our communities,” Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy said Monday via the Toms River Patch.

There were no specific threats made to any of the New Jersey communities mentioned in the manifesto.

Gendron targeted the Tops Friendly Market, located in a predominantly black neighborhood in Buffalo, around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Dressed in military gear and armed with an AR-15-style rifle, Gendron wore a tactical helmet equipped with a camera and live-streamed the brutal attack on Twitch.

Police said Gendron, a native of New York, opened fire in the market’s parking lot, killing three people, including a security guard, before entering the store. He then walked the aisles looking for black shoppers to photograph. At one point, Gendron allegedly pointed his gun at a white person hiding behind a checkout counter, only to apologize and move on, the Associated Press reported.

Twitch removed the video of the incident within minutes of the recording, but parts of the video continued to circulate online after the shooting.

When police confronted Gendron at the scene, he allegedly pointed his rifle at his own neck before giving up and dropping the gun. In all, 13 people were injured or killed in the Saturday afternoon shooting.

Gendron’s manifesto, posted online shortly before the incident, has been widely circulated in the days since the attack and paints a picture of a radicalized teenager turned advocate of the Great Replacement Theory. The conspiracy is rooted in the belief that demographic trends are wiping out white populations in a deliberate plot to replace them with immigrants and ethnic minorities.

The same hateful beliefs have been used to justify previous mass shootings in Pittsburgh, San Diego, El Paso, and New Zealand. Like the gunman who attacked Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue in October 2018, killing 11 people and wounding six others, Gendron defended anti-Semitism and wrote about it in his manifesto.

“I wish all Jews to HELL!” Gendron wrote in a part of the document shared by The Lakewood Scoop. “Go back to hell where you came from DEMON!”

In another section, Gendron wrote about Hasidic Jewish communities.

“In fact, the whole story of the growth of the Hasidic community and its impact on some established neighborhoods has been virtually ignored by the mainstream press. Hasidic activities in Brooklyn, in Jersey City, in the New York suburbs of Bloomingburg and Lakewood and Toms River, New Jersey, are deplorable, and attempts by local communities to defend themselves are regularly met with claims that locals are anti-Semitic.”

Lakewood has been the center of two discrimination lawsuits in recent years. The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office alleged that the adjacent community of Jackson Township has used selective local laws to expel Orthodox Jews and limit their religious activities.

Last month, a wave of anti-Semitic attacks occurred in Lakewood and Jackson, where two Hasidic Jews were deliberately hit with cars and a third was attacked and stabbed, according to Ocean County prosecutors. Dion Marsh, 27, of Manchester, has been charged with bias crimes, terrorism and federal hate crimes.

In February, a snowplow driver notably faced a criminal investigation after he shared a video on Facebook showing him launching a wave of snow and ice from his snowplow onto two Orthodox Jewish men walking down a road in Lakewood. . The snowplow driver’s employer, Waste Management, fired him after learning of the video, but there have been no updates on the criminal investigation.

Gendron was arraigned in court Saturday amid an ongoing investigation into the Buffalo shooting. He pleaded not guilty.

The Tops Friendly Market security guard has been identified as Aaron Salter, a retired police officer who confronted Gendron and shot him. Gendron was wearing a bulletproof vest and shot Salter, killing him outside the store. Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said he believes Salter prevented further killing and loss of life by trying to stop Gendron.

Investigators believe Gendron had visited the area of ​​the shooting in early March to explore the grocery store. Gramaglia said Gendron likely planned to continue his rampage at other locations in Buffalo on Saturday before police took him into custody.

Last summer, investigators said Gendron made a “general” threat at Susquehanna Valley High School, resulting in state police intervention and a subsequent mental health evaluation.

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn told CNN on Sunday that prosecutors are examining Gendron’s manifesto to potentially build a larger case against him.

“Obviously we’re looking at that carefully and looking at all the evidence that they can lead to in addition to the manifest itself,” Flynn said. “All the evidence that we determined from that manifest, where that manifest takes us from, other evidence that we already had, we can use that and potentially develop further charges.”

Leave a Comment