Disturbing Australian link after teen 'shoots dead 10 people at supermarket'

·Associate News Editor
·2-min read

A gunman who allegedly shot 10 people dead in a "racially motivated" attack may have been influenced by Australian Brenton Tarrant who killed 51 people in the Christchurch mosque shootings in 2019.

Eighteen-year-old Payton Gendron shot 11 Black and two white victims at a Buffalo supermarket in the state of New York on Saturday afternoon (local time), police say.

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that authorities were investigating a document widely circulated online that appeared to be a manifesto from Gendron.

Buffalo police declined to comment on the document that purports to outline the attacker's racist, anti-immigrant and antisemitic beliefs, including a desire to drive all people not of European descent from the US.

Payton Gendron was allegedly motivated by a mass shooting by an Australian. Source: Buffalo News
Payton Gendron was allegedly motivated by a mass shooting by an Australian. Source: Buffalo News/ AP

It said he drew inspiration from Tarrant who shot dead 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019.

Tarrant livestreamed the shootings – an allegation Gendron is facing, with authorities saying the mass shooting was broadcast on the platform Twitch.

Gendron is alleged to have shot four people outside of the store, three of whom died.

Inside the store, security guard Aaron Salter, a retired Buffalo police officer, fired multiple shots. A bullet hit the gunman’s bulletproof armour but had no effect, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said.

The gunman then killed the guard, the commissioner said, then stalked through the store shooting other victims.

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Payton being detained (left) as a victim lies on the ground (right). Source: Reuters

Police entered the store and confronted the gunman near the entrance. He put his rifle to his own neck, but two officers talked him into dropping the gun, Gramaglia said.

He was then restrained by officers and later charged with first degree murder before fronting court, pleading not guilty.

Gendron is from Conklin, roughly 300km from Buffalo.

Erie County Sheriff John Garcia called the shooting "pure evil".

"It was (a) straight up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community," he said.

Officials said the rifle Gendron used in the attack was purchased legally but that the magazines he used for ammunition were not allowed to be sold in New York.

The massacre sent shockwaves through an unsettled nation gripped with racial tensions, gun violence and a spate of hate crimes.

With AP

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