Man charged in Buffalo massacre must return to court

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The white man accused of killing 10 black people in a Buffalo supermarket was due in court Thursday as authorities, including the FBI, continue to investigate possible charges of hate crimes and terrorism.

Payton Gendron, 18, livestreamed the attack from a helmet camera before turning himself in to police outside the grocery store. Shortly before last Saturday’s attack, he posted hundreds of pages of writing on online discussion groups detailing his plans for the attack and his racist motivation.

Investigators have been examining those documents, which included a private journal he kept on the Discord chat platform.

At his initial court appearance last week, Gendron’s court-appointed attorney entered a “not guilty” plea on his behalf.

The massacre at Tops supermarket was disturbing even in a nation that has grown desensitized to mass shootings. All but two of the 13 people shot during the attack were black. Gendron’s online writings say that he planned the assault after falling in love with white supremacist ideology that he encountered online.

The diary says Gendron secretly planned his attack, without outside help, but Discord confirmed Wednesday that an invitation to access his private writings was sent to a small group of people about 30 minutes before the attack began.

Some of them accepted the invitation. It was unclear how many read what he had written or logged on to watch the assault live. It was also unclear if anyone tried to alert law enforcement.

Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said investigators were working to obtain, verify and review Gendron’s online posts.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday authorized state Attorney General Letitia James to investigate the social media platforms used by Gendron to determine if they were responsible for “providing a platform to plan and promote violence.”

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