BUFFALO — An employee who survived a racist mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket on Friday sought a court order to interview the 18-year-old shooter’s parents under oath in anticipation of a lawsuit being filed against them.
State Supreme Court filings ask Payton Gendron’s parents, Paul and Pamela Gendron of Conklin, to provide depositions by July 29 “to preserve their testimony, frame the complaint and help identify all defendants possible”. The documents also call for evidence of the crime to be preserved.
Attorney Terrence Connors filed the claims on behalf of Zaire Goodman, one of three people who survived the shooting when the gunman opened fire on shoppers and workers at a Tops Friendly Market on May 14.
Ten blacks died in the attack.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said Thursday that Payton Gendron alone appears to be criminally responsible for the shooting. Gendron is charged in a 25-count indictment with hate-motivated domestic terrorism, first-degree murder, attempted murder and murder as a hate crime. He pleaded not guilty.
“No one else is on my radar to be charged,” Flynn said after Gendron’s arraignment.
But lawyers for the families of the victims said they are considering taking action against the social media platforms, the gun maker and anyone else they believe may be responsible.
Goodman’s filing, first reported by The Buffalo News, accuses Gendron’s parents of ignoring warning signs and “willfully blinding themselves to their son’s propensity for vicious conduct.”
Among the warning signs, he said, was an incident in which Gendron was taken to hospital by police after he said during a high school assignment that his future plans included “murder- suicide”.
The Gendrons were unreachable by phone on Friday and their voicemail was full and unable to accept new messages.
In an online log taken from the Discord chat platform, Patyon Gendron detailed his plans for the assault, which he carried out using a Bushmaster rifle and wearing the body armor he had purchased.
He wrote that neither his parents nor his brothers knew of his plans, but he feared they would find out.
Goodman’s court filing calls for the preservation of cell phones and computers used by Payton Gendron, his Internet browsing history, travel and school records, receipts for firearms and ammunition, video game consoles and electronic devices. other objects under the control of his parents.