Buffalo shooting suspect shared his plans with a small group of Discord users just 30 minutes before the massacre

·2 min read
Carlee Taggart of Chicago and Robyn Harpell, of Virginia Beach light candles at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market at Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street on Monday, May 16, 2022 in Buffalo, NY. The fatal shooting of 10 people at a grocery store in a historically Black neighborhood of Buffalo by a young white gunman is being investigated as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism, according to federal officials.
Mourners light candles at a makeshift memorial for victims of the massacre on Saturday, which an 18-year-old white gunman is accused of carrying out with a semiautomatic weapon.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
  • The Buffalo shooting suspect kept records and photos of his plans months before the attack, per The New York Times.

  • About 30 minutes before the attack, he invited others to join a chat room filled with that material.

  • None of the invitees appear to have alerted the authorities, per The Times.

The 18-year-old white gunman suspected of killing 10 people in a racially-motivated attack in Buffalo on Saturday shared his plans with others in an online chat room before the massacre, according to several media reports.

Months before the attack, the suspect uploaded photos, hand-drawn maps, and detailed messages of his preparations on a private Discord server available only to him, per The New York Times.

The images included him posing with gear, such as a military-style helmet bought from eBay, body armor plates, and the semiautomatic weapon that police said he used in the shooting, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the messages.

In his messages, he wrote of how he lied to authorities in a psychiatric evaluation after making a threatening comment in class about a murder-suicide, per The Post. He also shared a document published by Brenton Tarrant, an avowed racist who killed 51 Muslims in two attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Starting on February 17, the suspect started writing on his Discord server that he had a "new plan" — to attack Black people at the Tops grocery store in Buffalo, where the shooting eventually happened, The Post reported.

He wrote that he had scouted out the location and was even confronted by a security guard in what he called a "close call," the outlet reported.

Around 30 minutes before he carried out his attack on Saturday, the suspect started inviting others to join his Discord server, sending links to like-minded individuals on web forums, per The Times.

A small group of people joined the server and were able to view the server's chat logs and past uploaded photos, a Discord spokesperson said, according to The Times.

"Before that, our records indicate no other people saw the diary chat log in this private server," the spokesperson said.

None of those invited to the group appear to have alerted law enforcement or tried to do anything to stop the attack, The Times reported.

The server has since been removed, according to The Post, citing Discord's spokesperson.

The suspect also live-streamed his attack on Twitch, the platform confirmed. Twitch said they terminated the stream within two minutes of the violence beginning.

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