State Police had brought 18-year-old suspected killer white supremacist Payton Gendron to a local hospital “for a mental evaluation” in June 2021 after he made a “generalized threat” of violence against his school, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said during a press conference with Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Gramaglia did not provide details about the threat, but a government official previously told the Buffalo News that Gendron “made statements indicating that he wanted to do a shooting, either at a graduation ceremony, or sometime after.”
After making the threat, Gendron “went to a local hospital, he was there for … about a day and a half, evaluated and then released,” Gramaglia said.
The teen was not on the radar of federal law enforcement, even after writing a 181-page, race-hate-filled manifesto online at some point detailing murderous plans.
He ended up killing 10 people in a race-hating rampage at a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
“There was nothing picked up on the State Police intelligence. Nothing that was picked up on the FBI intelligence. Nobody called in any complaint,” Gramaglia said. “The State Police did their job to the fullest that they could at that time.”
Meanwhile, high-school classmates told the New York Times that Gendron bizarrely wore a hazmat suit — “boots, gloves, everything” — for a week last year during the lead-up to graduation.
“Everyone was just staring at him,” Nathan Twitchell, 19, told the outlet.
The shooter, 18, is currently under suicide watch while in custody, authorities said.
Gramaglia said warrants had been issued to access Gendron’s personal computer, phone and social media accounts.
The commissioner said the evidence so far showed the attack was a “racist hate crime.
“The evidence that we have uncovered so far, make no mistake that this is an absolute racist hate crime,” Gramaglia said. “It will be prosecuted as a hate crime. This is someone who has hate in their heart, soul and mind.”
Before Saturday’s horror, Gendron had otherwise been living under the radar with his family in the quiet, well-to-do Binghamton suburb of Conklin, where he delivered papers as a youth before taking his most recent job at a local deli, neighbors told The Post on Sunday.
“It’s just something out of a Lifetime movie,” a resident said.
“They keep saying this, this racist supremacist deal that, you know, he was involved in. Nobody around here had any inclination of that.”
Gendron spent the past three months working at a nearby deli but mostly kept to himself, residents said.
“He was a shy kid,” said 21-year-old Joseph Sharak, who has known Gendron from childhood.
Gendron’s parents, Paul and Pamela Gendron, are both civil engineers at the state Department of Transportation.
Investigators believe that their son researched locations with high concentrations of African Americans before driving 200 miles to the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo and allegedly launching his massacre.