According to multiple news reports and law enforcement sources, a former federal agent may have been talking to the shooters in two of the latest heartbreaking tragedies in the lead up to both shootings.
Law enforcement agencies in Buffalo are investigating whether a former federal agent knew in advance an 18-year-old was going to attack the Tops on Jefferson Avenue, multiple sources told Buffalo News 4.
Authorities believe the former agent – believed to be from Texas – was one of at least six individuals who regularly communicated with accused gunman Payton Gendron in an online chat room, the two officials said.
The two law enforcement sources with direct knowledge of the investigation stated Gendron invited these individuals to read about his mass shooting plans and the target location about 30 minutes before Gendron killed ten people at Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue on May 14.
Were shooters being groomed to commit these mass-shootings?
The federal agent has not been named, and further details of the exact agency he worked for have not been shared. But the agent and Gendron’s other online friends would regularly chat online about their hatred of Jews and non-whites, investigators say.
On the online forum 4chan, further linked both shooters to someone they claim was rooming both shooters for the attacks. According to several users on discord, both the Buffalo and the Texas shooter were on the same Discord server.
Authorities don’t know if any of the six accepted the invitation.
“The FBI has verified that none of these people called law enforcement to warn them about the shooting. The FBI database shows no advance tips from anyone that this shooting was about to happen.”
Agents from the FBI are in the process of tracking down and interviewing the six people, including the retired agent, and attempting to determine if any of them should be charged as accomplices, the two sources with close knowledge of the probe told The Buffalo News.
The FBI is also trying to unmask the true identity of the individual Gendron referred to as ‘Sandman,’ and ‘Saint Sandman’ in his online diaries published on Discord, a social media platform.
The 18-year-old accused killer claims “Sandman” offered insight about AR-15 manufacturers and product quality before he purchased the gun used in the shooting.
Gendron, who referenced Sandman three times in his writings, allegedly quoted the individual in a post he made on May 2.
‘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,’ Sandman allegedly told the teen.
‘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.’
Meanwhile, attorneys familiar with the case say it is not surprising an ex-law enforcement agent may have been involved.
‘As outrageous as this may sound, based upon what we are finding in our investigation, it is not surprising,’ Attorney Terrence M. Connors, who represents several of the victims’ family members, told The Buffalo News.
Buffalo attorney John V. Elmore, who represents the family of victim Andre Mackniel, said the former agent had a duty to report the shooting as soon as he was made aware of it.
‘If he had advance notice, he had a moral obligation to get on the phone and try to notify someone about it,’ Elmore explained.
Police refused to enter school as Killer shot 19 Kids: Cops Arrested & Stopped Parents from Trying to Stop Killer
Yesterday, we learned that Texas law enforcement officers stood by for almost an hour and refused to enter Robb Elementary School while a Salvador Ramos was inside shooting children.
Just days before the shooting in Texas, law enforcement officials used crisis actors to hold a mock Mass-Shooter drill at the shooters high school.
— New York Post (@nypost)
“Our overall goal is to train every Uvalde area law enforcement officer so that we can prepare as best as possible,” the police department said. Ironically. these officers all seemed to stand by and do nothing, three days later when the real thing happened down the street.