15 People Joined Buffalo Shooter's Chat Room Before Tops Attack

Photo: Getty Images

Buffalo shooting suspect Payton Gendron launched a chat room on Discord before live-streaming his deadly attack at Tops Market.

According to the Washington Post, Gendron titled the invite into his Discord room "Happening: This is not a drill,” and 15 people joined the chat. The revelation means more people had access to watch the deadly Buffalo shooting online than initially believed, The Hill reports.

Investigators have now started to look into the possibility that Gendron was encouraged by online friends. The suspect live-streamed his racially motivated attack on Twitch, and a deep dive into Gendron's Discord channel revealed numerous racist messages and plans for the mass shooting over the past six months.

Gendron reportedly touted racist conspiracies such as "The Great Replacement Theory" and drove hours to target a predominantly Black neighborhood. His slaying on Saturday (May 14) killed 10 Black people and injured three others.

It is currently unknown what the 15 Discord members did after joining the gunman's chat, officials say.

On Wednesday (May 18), Discord said in a statement that the online platform was working in partnership with police on the investigation.

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