The white gunman accused of committing a racist massacre at a Buffalo supermarket made threatening comments that brought police to his high school last spring, but he was never charged with a crime and had no further contact with law enforcement after his release from a hospital, officials said.
The revelation raised questions about whether his encounter with police and the mental health system was yet another missed opportunity to put a potential mass shooter under closer law enforcement scrutiny, get him help, or make sure he didn’t have access to deadly firearms.
Authorities said they were investigating the attack on predominantly Black shoppers and workers at the Tops Friendly Market as a potential federal hate crime or act of domestic terrorism. Saturday's mass violence in Buffalo was the deadliest of a wave of fatal weekend shootings, including at a California church and a Texas flea market.
Payton Gendron, 18, traveled about 200 miles (320 kilometers) from his home in Conklin, New York, to Buffalo to commit the attack, police said.
Federal authorities were still working to confirm the authenticity of a racist 180-page document, purportedly written by Gendron, that said the assault was intended to terrorize all nonwhite, non-Christian people and get them to leave the country.