Paul and Pamela Gendron are the mother and father of accused Buffalo grocery store mass shooter Payton Gendron.
Gendron’s parents have not been accused of wrongdoing, but they have fallen under the microscope because of their son’s young age (18) and alleged racist beliefs and motivations.
A 180-page manifesto reviewed by Heavy outlines a virulently racist mindset toward Blacks and Jews, rants about mass immigration, describes a timeline for the mass shooting in great detail, and reveals he was influenced by other mass shooters while bored and online during the pandemic.
According to CNN, Gendron planned to target another store after Tops Friendly Markets but was stopped by police before he could. An official told CNN that, after his arrest, Gendron made hateful statements about the Black community, also indicating a racist motive.
In the racist manifesto, the author writes,
My name is Payton Gendron, I was born on June 20, 2003, which makes me 18 years old as of writing this. I am the sole perpetrator of the recent attempted mass shooting. I lived in Southern Tier, New York all my life with both my parents and 2 brothers. I believe I am ethnically white since my parent’s nationalities are from north-western Europe and Italy. I graduated highschool with a regents diploma with advanced designation and am currently enrolled in SUNY Broome with a major in Engineering Science. I would love to continue this but there are bigger problems I’m more concerned with. I am not a warfighter, nor have I been enrolled in any military or tactical training, so excuse any mistakes I make during my attack. I was never diagnosed with a mental disability or disorder, and I believe to be perfectly sane.
The parents have not yet commented publicly on the crime. Gendron is accused of murdering 10 people and wounding three, including elderly women and a retired police officer. Most of the victims were Black, which the manifesto states was intended.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Federal Agents Have Interviewed Gendron’s Parents
Federal investigators have interviewed Gendron’s parents, according to WGRZ-TV.
Gendron graduated in 2021 from the Susquehanna Valley Central School District and attended SUNY Broome Community College in Dickinson last fall, according to Press Connects.
Gendron’s parents are cooperating with the investigation, the Associated Press reported.
Investigators were seen at the family property “sifting through items in a large shed on the property,” The New York Post reported.
2. Gendron’s Parents Are Civil Engineers
According to The New York Post, both of Gendron’s parents “work as civil engineers with the state Department of Transportation.”
Payton Gendron had an early interest in engineering like his parents, according to ABC 7. But the college had no record of him attending this spring.
According to Press Connects, the parents bought the the 17-acre property in 2002 for $116,000.
In announcing a murder charge against Gendron, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn wrote in a press release:
It is alleged that on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at approximately 2:30 p.m., the defendant drove to Tops Friendly Markets on Jefferson Avenue near Riley Street in the City of Buffalo with the intent to commit a crime. The defendant, who was allegedly wearing tactical gear and armed with an assault weapon, encountered several people in the parking lot. The defendant is accused of intentionally shooting four people outside of the grocery store. Three of the four victims died from their injuries.
It is further alleged that the defendant entered the store and exchanged gunfire with an armed security guard. The security guard, who was a retired member of the Buffalo Police Department, died from his injuries. The defendant allegedly shot eight more people inside of the store. Six died from their injuries. Two people were injured by gunfire.
The defendant was quickly apprehended by responding police officers.
3. Gendron Has Younger Brothers & Was Investigated for Making Comments About Murder-Suicide in High School
According to the New York Times, there were warning signs: Gendron, a year ago when he was a senior in high school, said he wanted “to commit a murder-suicide” when asked about his plans after graduating. State police investigated, and he said he was joking; they took him into custody using state mental health laws, and he was evaluated but released in a “couple of days,” The Times reported, adding that other classmates also described him wearing a hazmat suit to class in 2020.
However, he favored online classes, The Times reported, adding that authorities were searching the parents’ home in tiny Conklin, describing it as a “light-blue, two-story house with black shutters and neatly trimmed shrubs.”
Neighbors told The Times that Gendron would play basketball with his two younger brothers and had a graduation party attended by people on the block.
4. Neighbors Offered Mixed Views About Gendron’s Parents
Gendron lived with his parents, according to CNN.
A neighbor told CNN that Gendron’s mother would often walk through the neighborhood, with one neighbor describing her as nice and saying they “never would have thought that in a million years” Gendron harbored racist views. “It’s pretty shocking.”
However, another Conklin resident gave a less glowing description to Daily Mail, which reported that Paul Gendron was a soccer coach considered “stranger” and some felt the mother, Pamela Gendron, seemed “conceited.”
“He’s from this pristine family,” a former classmate told Daily Mail. “They have everything together, they were just perfect.”
Their posts on Facebook indicated normal family activities, but a parent told Daily Mail, “To be honest, the mother was kind of snooty. Like she was better than everyone else. The father was strange. Like when you meet someone and they just seem off.”
5. The Manifesto Says the Author Got His Beliefs Mostly From the Internet During a Period of ‘Extreme Boredom’ in the Pandemic, Not People He Knew in Real Life
The manifesto espouses extremely racist beliefs and a so-called replacement theory that focuses on low white fertility rates and mass immigration. It also states that the shooter targeted a city with a large Black population. He wrote, “There is no non-white living on White lands that is innocent.”
“Where did you get your current beliefs?” the manifesto asks.
The answer: “Mostly from the internet. There was little to no influence on my personal beliefs by people I met in person. I read multiple sources of information from all ideologies and decided that my current one is most correct.”
He described how he developed racist beliefs:
“Before I begin I will say that I was not born racist nor grew up to be racist. I simply became racist after I learned the truth. I started browsing 4chan in May 2020 after extreme boredom, remember this was during the outbreak of covid. I would normally browse /k/ because I’m a gun nut and /out/ because I love the outdoors and I eventually wound up on /pol/. There I learned through infographics, sh*tposts, and memes that the White race is dying out, that blacks are disproportionately killing Whites…”
It also notes, “…politics was never really discussed in my family or old friend groups…I would prefer to call myself a populist. But you can call me an ethno-nationalist eco-fascist national socialist if you want, I wouldn’t disagree with you.”
He indicated he was planning the attack since he was a juvenile, writing, “I’ve been passively preparing for this attack like every American does; by buying ammo, surplus military gear and shooting irregularly.”
He said he wasn’t Christian, writing, “No. I do not ask God for salvation by faith, nor do I confess my sins to Him. I personally believe there is no afterlife. I do however believe in and practice many Christian values.”
The author said he was a white supremacist and fascist. “Yes, I would call myself a white supremacist, afterall, which race is responsible for the world we live in today? I believe the White race is superior in the brain to all other races,” he wrote. “…Yes I am racist because I believe in differences of capabilities between races.”
He expressed anti-Semitic beliefs, writing, “YES!! I wish all JEWS to HELL! Go back to hell where you came from DEMON!”
He indicated he was influenced by a New Zealand mass shooter who also live streamed his attack while murdering Muslims, writing, of his key influence, “Yes and his name is Brenton Harrison Tarrant. Brenton’s livestream started everything you see here. Brenton started my real research into the problems with immigration and foreigners in our White lands, without his livestream I would likely have no idea about the real problems the West is facing.”
The author wrote, “When I was 12 I was deep into communist ideology, talk to anyone from my old highschool and ask about me and you will hear that. From age 15 to 18 however, I consistently moved farther to the right. On the political compass I fall in the mild-moderate authoritarian left category, and I would prefer to be called a populist.”
Gendron was taken into custody at the scene, Buffalo Police said. He is accused of murdering 12 people, most of them Black. Three others were wounded. Gendron is facing first-degree murder charges in New York state court and could also face federal charges, including hate crimes, officials said. Read about the 10 victims who were killed here.
“This was pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said in a news conference. “It was a straight-up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community.” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland called the mass murder “a hate crime and an act of racially-motivated violent extremism.”
Conklin is more than 200 miles southeast of Buffalo in the Southern Tier region of New York.
Gendron pleaded not guilty, officials said. The Erie County District Attorney’s Office tweeted: “Payton S. Gendron, 18, of #Conklin, NY has been arraigned in Buffalo City Court on one count of Murder in the First Degree. He was remanded without bail. A felony hearing was scheduled for Thursday, May 19 at 9:30 a.m.”