Upstate NY gun shop confirms Peyton Gendron legally purchased semi-automatic used in mass shooting

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Sunday, May 15, 2022
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ENDICOTT, New York (WABC) -- The 18-year-old suspect in the mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store bought the semi-automatic gun used in the attack legally, right here in New York state.

Police say the suspected gunman, Payton Gendron, shot three people in the parking lot of Tops grocery store in a predominantly Black community before he open fire in the store.

He fired 50 rounds and killed 10 people, and live-streamed the entire shooting on Twitch.

A 180-page document believed to have been posted on the internet by the suspect is a hate-filled screed fixated on the notion of "replacement theory," a white supremacist belief that non-whites will eventually replace white people because they have higher birth rates, authorities said.

He purchased the semi-automatic Bushmaster XM-15 used in the shooting from Vintage Firearms in Endicott, NY just two months ago.

RELATED | Buffalo supermarket mass shooting: What we know about the alleged gunman

Robert Donald, 75, is the owner of the firearms store and while he doesn't remember specifically selling the weapon to Gendron, he did have records of the purchase.

Gendron also passed a government instant check system the day he bought the gun, making the purchase completely legal.

ATF agents informed Donald of the mass shooting that happened with the weapon purchased in his shop.

"I couldn't believe it. Nobody envisions a young man doing this," said Donald. "I mean, who would do this. I've been open since 1993 and this is the first time there has been any kind of a problem."

Donald said he doesn't sell semi-automatic guns often. Most of the firearms in his shop are older collectibles. But younger customers are becoming more interested in semi-automatic guns.

"I probably am lucky if I sell six of them in a year," Donald said. "I happened to have this particular gun at this particular time. And this particular guy happened to buy it. After the gun leaves the firearm shop, you have no control."

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