Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old who allegedly murdered ten people at a Buffalo, New York grocery outlet, left behind a diary that shows just how sick and twisted he had become, visiting extremist message boards, and plotting his shooting spree for months while his parents evidently didn’t have a clue.
The shooter meticulously planned the mass shooting, writing about it at length in a diary, according to the New York Post. The media outlet obtained a copy of it from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation. The diary reportedly contains thousands of entries and is apparently a deep dive into the mind of a psychopath. He alluded to time spent on 4Chan which he claimed helped motivate him to stick to his plan.
“My current beliefs started when I first started to use 4chan a few months after covid started,” he wrote in his diary. The diatribe was posted on the Discord app but was later taken down following the shooting spree.
“Every time I think maybe I shouldn’t commit to an attack I spend 5 min [on] /pol/, then my motivation returns,” he noted, referring to the message board’s political section.
A very sick individual who deserves the death penalty.https://t.co/wKcD6aBWrk
— James Plowman (@plowmanj3) May 18, 2022
“It’s his diary that really stands out, as it gives us insight into the person behind the image. It shows his uncertainty over whether he could murder people. Over a dozen times he wrote about wanting to commit suicide instead,” Dr. Rajan Basra, who is a researcher from ICSR, told the New York Post in an interview.
“He was essentially having a conversation with himself, at times doubting what he was doing, and other times doubling down on his racist beliefs. The diary shows a volatile mix between racist beliefs, white nationalism, and complex mental health issues,” the doctor remarked.
The teen’s disconnect from his parents was apparent. He wrote about his relationship with his family, the money he spent on the attack, and his obsession with silver coins.
“My parents know little about me, they don’t know about the hundreds of silver ounces I’ve had, or the hundreds of dollars I’ve spent on ammo. They don’t know that I spent close to $1000 on random military sh-t. They don’t even know I own a shotgun or an AR-15, or illegal magazines,” a February post stated.
“Promise me if you have a child you will be there and you will be close, be a friend to your child and make sure they know that you will always help them. Talk about their problems and ways to solve it and NEVER make them feel bad for coming to you,” he remarked.
Where the hell were his parents???
— Mary Smith (@QueensNYMary) May 18, 2022
Gendron waffled back and forth over killing people, “I’m not proud to kill these lads, in fact I’m desperately looking for a sign or evidence proving that I shouldn’t,” he reportedly wrote, voicing his plan to kill black people “in a crazed effort to ‘save’ the white race,” the Post noted.
“I can’t tell you how much I don’t want to do this attack My only other choice is suicide I can’t go back,” he proclaimed on March 16.
“I have wondered if I’m mentally ill, and that’s why I’m planning the attack like I am now,” he said in February. “The past 7 years have hurt so much, I think I’m ready to abandon it all.”
On January 16, 2022, an entry speaks of Gendron being born three times. Once when he was actually born, once when he was three and experienced his first memory, and then between March 15, 2020, and May 5, 2020, which was when the pandemic lockdowns took place.
“There I lost myself and a bit of my sanity,” the young alleged gunman admitted.
Disturbing to say the least.
— Daniel J. White (@JDjwhite54) May 18, 2022
“I remember I went to my cousin’s house with a mask and full get up and no one else did and seeing that caused me so much pain. Eventually it was too much to bear and I had to leave early and walk home through the woods, I then barricaded myself in the basement for a few days,” he recounted.
Gendron originally picked Rochester as his target but eventually changed his mind and went with Buffalo reportedly due to its black demographic. He also originally chose March 15 for the shooting because it was the three-year anniversary of the Christchurch shootings in New Zealand.
He wrote a great deal about what it took to acquire tactical gear such as a military-grade helmet online and he went on at length about guns and ammo. He reportedly detailed what clothes he would wear right down to his socks and took selfies of himself. The alleged shooter also spoke about losing weight before the attack and drew maps of the supermarket, detailing how he would assail it.
Buffalo shooter wrote the names of Waukesha victims on his barrel guard.
— Empowerfy (@empowerfy) May 14, 2022
More pics of the gun used by the Buffalo Shooter. Covered in writing. Racial slur, names of Waukesha parade victims, name of synagogue shooter in Germany, and more (1/2) #Buffalo #PaytonGendron #BuffaloShooting pic.twitter.com/7jMoLHIXGG
— ⚫️ Isaiah ⚫️ (@Isaiah_13Plan3t) May 15, 2022
Buffalo Shooter Reportedly Puts Racial Slurs and Anders Breivik’s Name on Gun – Photohttps://t.co/tBKItix6kR
— TRUTH PUKE (@TruthPuke) May 15, 2022
Gendron is now facing murder charges and has pleaded not guilty. He has also been put under a suicide watch. It is likely he will be charged with a hate crime and domestic extremism when the charges are finalized. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.
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