Updated: May 18, 2022 06:50 PM
Created: May 18, 2022 09:46 AM
BINGHAMTON N.Y. (WHEC) — Payton Gendron, the accused shooter in the mass murder in Buffalo Saturday lived in Conklin, New York, a town about 10 miles south of Binghamton in Broome County.
Broome County District Attorney Michael Korchak said anyone who had contact with the alleged shooter in Broome County prior to Saturday is getting interviewed by police.
When State Police made a mental hygiene arrest of Gendron last June, he was not considered to be a danger and no one filed a red flag petition or "Extreme Risk Protection Order," that would have stopped him from getting a gun.
Here's what happened last June.
Gendron answered "murder/suicide" to a question in an online high school class asking what his retirement plans were. Korchak said Gendron told his teacher he was joking.
"But the teacher was obviously concerned about that so she notified the school," Korchak said.
Korchak said the school called State Police who went to talk to Gendron.
"The police got there and the defendant indicated this was all a joke, he was just making fun," Korchak said.
New York State Police took him to Binghamton General Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
"In this particular case, after an evaluation, he was found not to be a danger to himself or others and he was released into the custody of his parents," Korchak said.
The DA said Gendron went back to school and graduated with his class. The June incident was the last known police contact with the alleged shooter before the shooting in Buffalo Saturday.
New York State law says anyone can file an extreme risk protection order—a so-called "red flag petition"—to take guns away from someone at risk or stop someone at risk from getting one.
There's been 24 filed in Broome County.
Brean: "Was there a red flag petition filed against the alleged shooter last year?"
Korchak: "No there was not. We have to follow the rules of the court."
The rules say someone has to be an immediate risk.
Korchak: "However, he was evaluated by a professional mental health professional and determined not to be a risk."
News10NBC obtained records of how many red flag petitions have been filed in New York State. The data shows there have been zero in Monroe County and Livingston County and only 24 in the eight-county Finger Lakes region.
There have been more than 400 in Central New York and more than 1,000 in the state.
On Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed an executive order requiring State Police to file for an Extreme Risk Protection Order under New York State's Red Flag Law whenever they have probable cause to believe that an individual is a threat to themselves or others.
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