Kinfolk of Buffalo’s supermarket-slaughter suspect are copping the COVID protection, telling The Submit on Monday that the teenager possible snapped due to his paranoia and isolation from the pandemic.
They added that they had no clue their kin, accused 18-year-old Payton Gendron, was an alleged white supremacist and mentioned he clearly wanted assist after threatening his high-school classmates virtually a 12 months in the past — though they aren’t certain he ever bought it.
“I do not know how he may have gotten caught up on this. I blame it on COVID,’’ mentioned Sandra Komoroff, 68, a cousin of Gendron’s mother Pamela, referring to the teenager’s alleged hate-fueled rampage that left 10 black individuals useless at a Tops Pleasant Market on Saturday.
“He was very paranoid about getting COVID, extraordinarily paranoid, to the purpose that — his associates have been saying — he would put on the hazmat swimsuit [to school],” she mentioned.
“”After which he bought COVID just some weeks in the past. … He went to household capabilities with a respirator masks on. He completely wasn’t going to get COVID — after which he bought COVID.
“They have been vaxxed to the max,” she mentioned of the household. “I don’t know if it was a nasty case, I simply know he caught it.”
She added that Gendron had “purchased into the concern of COVID.
“That’s the one strategy to say it. And while you’re residence all day on the Web, you’re lacking out on human contact,” Sandra mentioned. “There’s plenty of feelings and plenty of physique language you’re not getting [as] while you see their face.”
Extra protection on the Buffalo grocery store capturing
Her husband Dave Komoroff, 68, added, “In concept, [COVID] may have affected what they name the lizard mind — the a part of the mind that controls aggression.
“I can’t say it’s unattainable, however possibly that may occur one out of so many hundreds of thousands of occasions.”
Earlier than Saturday’s slaughter, Gendron had allegedly written a rambling, 180-page white supremacist manifesto that spewed a racist philosophy and outlined his step-by-step plans for the bloodbath, law-enforcement sources have mentioned.
Within the chilling doc, the teenager described how he’d turn out to be “radicalized” on-line due to “excessive boredom” throughout the early days of the pandemic.
The Komoroffs denied understanding something about Gendron’s alleged horrific racist leanings, with Dave saying, “He’s very good.
“I don’t know the place he went on-line — the darkish Internet, or wherever — however apparently he bought into some nasty stuff. He’s good sufficient to get into harmful stuff on-line, which possibly the common individual wouldn’t know the right way to get into.
“I imply, I’m making an attempt to determine it out myself.”
As for a threatening missive at his college in June final 12 months — during which Gendron was requested about his future plans and he responded that he wished to commit a slay-suicide — Dave mentioned, “My query is, and I don’t know the reply both, however did they do one thing?
“The mother and father are well-to-do. Did they put him in some form of remedy? As a result of after they get the civil lawsuit, that’s what’s going to return out. Somebody’s gonna ask, ‘What did you do final 12 months after this incident?’ They’ll ask the mother and father, ‘What did you do? What did you do to assist this child?’
“The mother and father are each college-educated. They’re clever. They’re engineers. They’re not hill individuals. ‘Did you assume he wanted any assist?’ ”
On the time, State Police responding to that incident took Gendron to the hospital for a psych analysis — however he was launched after a day and a half.
“There ought to have been lightbulbs going off,’’ Sandra mentioned. “This child ought to have been in some form of empathy coaching that teaches these are human beings.”
In any other case, the couple mentioned, the teenager and his household checked all of the bins of “what you’ll take into account regular.”
“It’s a good household, an excellent household. It’s unconscionable to me what occurred. They’re very common individuals, God-fearing,” Sandra mentioned.
“I don’t perceive the racist factor, as a result of my household is the farthest factor from racist. I’ve by no means heard a racist remark from him, from his mother and father. It’s virtually like he simply snapped. One thing in him broke.
“The entire household is in shock.”
Dave mentioned, You in all probability have a checkbox of what you’ll take into account regular.
“I might assume that this household checks all of the bins,” he mentioned. “I’m making an attempt to determine the dysfunction, and I simply can’t. We have been at his commencement. He’s an 18-year-old child. I mentioned, ‘Congratulations.’ He mentioned, ‘Thanks.’ I mentioned, ‘What do you propose to do?’ He mentioned, ‘Be an engineer like my mother and pa.’
“I simply don’t see how this occurred, however apparently this has been germinating for a very long time.”
Gendron, who had traveled about 200 miles from his residence in Conklin, NY, was taken into custody minutes after he carried out the racially motivated assault within the predominantly black neighborhood, police mentioned.
He was arraigned on a homicide cost over the weekend, and federal prosecutors mentioned they’re considering hate-crime fees.