Payton Gendron, the Buffalo shooter, admitted to getting radicalized by the online messaging boards, including 4Chan. The revelation was made in the online diary which the 18-year-old maintained to pen down his twisted thoughts.
The attack inside a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, left 10 dead and several injured.
"Motivation To Attack Returned After Using Messaging Boards"
The New York Post reported that in the diary, which was posted on Discord app, Gendron wrote that he spent months pondering over the mass shooting, but 4Chan kept him motivated to stick to the original plan. "My current beliefs started when I first started to use 4chan a few months after covid started. Every time I think maybe I shouldn't commit to an attack I spend 5 min [on] /pol/, then my motivation returns," his entry read. The International Centre for the Study of Radicalization provided a copy of the diary to the outlet.
In another entry made on March 16, Gendron admitted that either it was killing blacks in order to save the white race, or suicide for him. "I'm not proud to kill these lads, in fact I'm desperately looking for a sign or evidence proving that I shouldn't. 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."
Speaking to the outlet, Dr Rajan Basra, a researcher from ICSR, said that the teen shooter's diary really stands out, as it gives an 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. 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," he said.
Gendron Lost Weight Before the Attack
A few entries were also related to the shooter's effort of losing weight. Some entries related to a list of food he ate each day, a daily calorie count and his weight.
The outlet reported that Gendron, who had originally explored Rochester for the attack, changed the plans after he found that Buffalo had a larger population of black residents. He also penned his journey of radicalization admitting that he lost himself and a bit of his sanity during the early days of pandemic.
"There I lost myself and a bit of my sanity. 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," Gendron's post from the early days of pandemic read.
In few entries he also spoke about his parents ignorance about his arms and ammunition collection. "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 post in February read.