Retired Federal Agent May Have Known About Buffalo Shooting In Advance

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Authorities are investigating whether a retired federal agent knew about Payton Gendron's plans to attack a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo earlier this month.

According to a report by The Buffalo News, investigators are specifically working to determine if the former US government officer had 30 minutes of advance notice about Gendron's violent, targeted intentions on May 14.

The former agent is believed to be from Texas and was one of six people last in communication with Gendron on an online chatroom where racist ideology was being discussed, two law enforcement officials told the outlet. Gendron reportedly offered those in the chatroom an invitation to take a glimpse at his plans to open fire inside the market an estimated 30 minutes before he walked inside the Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue and shot 13 people –– 10 of them fatally.

Investigators are still working to determine if the retired agent 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 official with close knowledge of the investigation told Buffalo News.

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

"The FBI has verified that none of these peopled 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 added.

Investigators are currently tracking down the six people in the chatroom and did not confirm what agency the former agent worked for. Authorities are also determining whether or not the six people will receive charges as accomplices in the massacre.

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