Authorities are investigating whether a retired federal agent had foreknowledge of the Buffalo mass shooting.
18-year-old Payton Gendron, a white man, fatally shot 10 people at a Buffalo, New York supermarket in a black community on May 14.
Investigators now believe a former federal agent from Texas was in regular communication with Gendron in an online chat room.
According to Buffalo News, individuals in the online chat room – which possibly included the retired federal agent – asked Payton Gendron to read his mass shooting plans 30 minutes before the attack.
Not one person in the chat room notified law enforcement about Gendron’s plans to murder black people.
FBI agents are now working to locate and interview the six people in the chat – including the former fed.
Buffalo News reported:
Law enforcement officers are investigating whether a retired federal agent had about 30 minutes advance notice of a white supremacist’s plans to murder Black people at a Buffalo supermarket, two law enforcement officials told The Buffalo News.
Authorities believe the former agent – believed to be from Texas – was one of at least six individuals who regularly communicated with accused gunman Payton Gendron in an online chat room where racist hatred was discussed, the two officials said.
The two law enforcement sources with direct knowledge of the investigation stated these individuals were invited by Gendron to read about his mass shooting plans and the target location about 30 minutes before Gendron killed 10 people at Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue on May 14.
“These were like-minded people who used this chat group to talk about their shared interests in racial hatred, replacement theory and hatred of anyone who is Jewish, a person of color or not of European ancestry,” said one of the two law enforcement officials with close knowledge of the investigation. “What is especially upsetting is that these six people received advanced notice of the Buffalo shooting, about 30 minutes before it happened.