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American News May 27, 2022 8:38 PM EST

Authorities investigating whether retired federal agent had advanced notice of Buffalo shooting

"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."

Authorities investigating whether retired federal agent had advanced notice of Buffalo shooting
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Authorities are reportedly investigating whether a retired federal agent, who allegedly regularly communicated with Buffalo supermarket shooter Payton Gendron online, had around a 30 minute advanced notice that the Tops shooting would occur.

Two law enforcement officials told The Buffalo News that authorities believe the former agent, who is believed to be from Texas, was one of six people who had regularly communicated with Gendron in an online chatroom.

In this chatroom, the officials with direct knowledge of the investigation said, its members discussed racist hatred.

"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," said one of the two law enforcement officials.

They noted that the individuals in this chatroom had been invited to read Gendron’s plans regarding the mass shooting around 30 minutes before he fatally shot 10 people inside Tops Markets in Buffalo on May 14.

"What is especially upsetting is that these six people received advanced notice of the Buffalo shooting, about 30 minutes before it happened," the official added.

"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," the official continued.

According to The Buffalo News, they could not confirm whether this agent had accepted the invitation to view Gendron’s plans.

Agents with the FBI are reportedly in the process of tracking down and investigating those six people who were in the chat room, including the retired agent.

The officials said that the FBI is determining whether those in the chatroom should be charged as accomplices in the case.

According to The Buffalo News: "The two sources did not identify the agent by name and could not confirm what federal agency he worked for."

According to the Washington Post, an invitation was sent out by Gendron to a chatroom shortly before he carried out the shooting.

15 people reportedly accepted the invite to the Discord server, where viewers could scroll back through months of his writings, and we also able to see a live stream of the shooting.

The invitation, which said “Happening: This is not a drill,” included a link to a Twitch stream, where the shooting was allegedly broadcasted from a camera mounted to Gendron’s military-style helmet.

Screenshots shared online showed that at least 22 people had watched the stream. The stream was disabled within two minutes of the first gunshot, the Washington Post reported.

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