30 Minutes Before Buffalo Shooting, Suspect Revealed His Plans

No one who entered Discord chat room appeared to contact authorities
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2022 1:44 AM CDT
30 Minutes Before Buffalo Shooting, Suspect Revealed His Plans
Signs, balloons and police tape are wrapped around a pole across from Tops Friendly Market on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Buffalo, NY.   (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

(Newser) – The suspected gunman in the Buffalo shooting that left 10 people dead posted a detailed rundown of his plans for the massacre on a private Discord server, or chat room—and, it was revealed Tuesday, he invited people to join the room about a half-hour before he allegedly carried out his plans. None of the people who were invited, some of whom did indeed join the server, appeared to tell law enforcement about what they'd read, and nothing was done to stop the suspect. Discord says that months ago, "a private, invite-only server was created by the suspect to serve as a personal diary chat log," and that its records indicate no one else had seen it prior to the suspect's invitation 30 minutes before the shooting. More:

  • Multiple writings: Details of the chat logs have already been publicized, but it was previously not known that the suspect invited anyone else to read the logs before the shooting, the New York Times reports. The logs are separate from the nearly 200-page "racist screed" the suspect also released before the massacre. The Discord logs, per the Times, are "far more personal."

  • Parents in the dark: In the chat logs, the 18-year-old suspect talks about the months spent deceiving his parents, the Washington Post reports. "They don’t know about the hundreds of silver ounces I’ve had, or the hundreds of dollars I’ve spent on ammo. They don’t know that I spent close to $1000 on random military s---. They don’t even know I own a shotgun or an AR-15, or illegal magazines," he wrote. The Post says there's no indication from his parents' limited online presence that they shared his radicalized views; his father is a registered Democrat who's retweeted President Biden and Pete Buttigieg.
  • Plan details: On the chat logs, the suspect shared hand-drawn maps of the Tops grocery store where the attack was carried out. He allegedly called on others to carry out similar attacks. He kept a diary-style log of the lead-up to the attack as well, with entries like: "I’m doing laundry … and moving stuff into my car. I have to wait to move the guns because my mom is downstairs and I can’t let her see."
  • What is Discord? The chat platform started as part of a video game, and remains popular with gamers. In a statement, a spokesperson says, "hate has no place on Discord," but the Times notes hate speech and violent extremism can be found there.
  • Twitch weighs in too: The suspect livestreamed the attack for at least two minutes on livestreaming service Twitch, which is also popular with gamers, and that company also released a statement to the Times: Twitch "has a zero-tolerance policy against violence of any kind and works swiftly to respond to all incidents. The user has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content."
(Read more Buffalo shooting stories.)

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