Ex-Fed Hung Out In Buffalo Shooter's Racist Chat Room, May Have Known His Plans
Every time there is a mass shooting, conspiracy theorists start going on about how it's all a false flag, a set up by the feds to take their guns away or to make racists and conservatives look bad. You know, because of how the FBI and CIA are such notoriously liberal organizations, filled with super woke intellectuals who hate guns and racism and love hippies. Just like J. Edgar Hoover!
And the case may be this time that the Buffalo shooter was in cahoots with an FBI agent — a former FBI agent, anyway — though not quite in the way rightwing conspiracy theorists think. It turns out that this retired fed held the same views as the 18-year-old white supremacist and actually hung out in Payton Gendron's super secret Discord chat room for violent racists where they and other terrible people just chilled and talked about their shared hatred for non-white people.
Buffalo News reports that two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the investigation also say that about 30 minutes before Gendron went on his murderous rampage, he invited people from this chat room to read about his plans in advance, and six of them accepted the invitation — although The Washington Post reported that it was actually 15 people who accepted the invitation.
“These were like-minded people who used this chat group to talk about their shared interests in racial hatred, replacement theory and hatred of anyone who is Jewish, a person of color or not of European ancestry,” one of the two officials told the Buffalo News. “What is especially upsetting is that these six people received advanced notice of the Buffalo shooting, about 30 minutes before it happened."
Yes, who can believe that people who spend their spare time in a racist chat room, likely filled with users of 4chan's notoriously extreme /pol/ board, would not report their friend's plan to murder a bunch of Black people in a Buffalo supermarket? It's almost as if the kind of people who would join such a chat room are the kind of people who would think this was a swell idea.
The FBI, which the officials say received no advance notice or tips from anyone in the chat room about the shooting, is currently trying to track down the people who accepted Gendron's invitation, as well as the FBI agent who may have been one of them. They may be charged as accomplices for not reporting the crime to the police ahead of time.
It's not clear how they actually know this person is actually a former FBI agent if they are still tracking him down. If they are going off of what they claimed in the chat room, the possibility exists that they were entirely full of shit and just trying to impress their fellow racists. Nevertheless, they are looking into the agent's relationship with Gendron as well as into whether or not the agent provided him with "information prior" to the shooting spree.
Another person the FBI is looking into is someone Gendron called "Saint Sandman" who acted as something of a mentor to him, advising him on which assault rifles to buy and what have you.
The Buffalo News also reports that just a little over a week before the shooting, Gendron quoted this "Saint Sandman" as saying:
When the time finally comes to deal decisively with a whole host of society's problems, and not go to prison for it, you'll know. Just be ready. You have spent your entire life, from the day you were born, right up to this very moment, reading this sentence, coming to where you are right now. Look around you. Are you content with where you are right now? Are you where you want to be? If so, continue to march. If not, what are you going to do? What's your plan? Get and keep your mind, body, and spirit right. Pray. Lift. Run. Read. Shoot. And teach your kids to do those things.
It's "Eat, Pray, Love" for violent racist psychopaths. Though given that Gendron is in fact going to prison — well, we assume! — it doesn't seem that this worked out for him.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse