Law enforcement officials are investigating whether a retired federal agent may have known in advance of indicted white supremacist shooter Payton Gendron's plans to massacre a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo.
Local news station WIVB reports that law enforcement officials say that the agent being investigated "was among a small group of people to have regular interactions online with the gunman" and that the official's relationship with the gunman is part of their ongoing investigation.
According to the Buffalo News, the retired agent frequently spoke with Gendron in an online chatroom where the topic of discussion was "racist hatred."
"Two law enforcement sources with direct knowledge of the investigation stated these individuals were invited by Gendron to read about his mass shooting plans and the target location about 30 minutes before Gendron killed 10 people at Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue on May 14," writes the Buffalo News. "The News could not determine if the retired agent accepted the invitation."
The paper's sources also say that the retired agent and Gendron would talk with other "like-minded" individuals 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."