Buffalo Shooting Survivors Sue Social Media & Gun Companies

Photo: Getty Images

Survivors and a family member of a victim of the mass shooting at Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York are suing social media platforms, gun companies, and the shooter's parents.

On Tuesday (August 15), two lawsuits were filed in Erie County State Supreme Court accusing multiple entities of facilitating and equipping shooter Payton Gendron in the May 2022 attack that left 10 Black people dead.

According to the suits, Gendron's parents “abdicated their duties” by failing to limit their then-18-year-old son's access to a gun despite knowing his mental health problems. The plaintiffs of the suits also claim that a "gun magazine lock manufacturer, the business that sold Gendron the gun used in the shooting, and a company that sold Gendron body armor were all negligent and contributed to the shooting," per CNN.

The lawsuits come after Gendron pleaded guilty to charges including murder and domestic terrorism and was sentenced to life in prison without parole in connection to the Buffalo mass shooting.

“I did a terrible thing that day,” Gendron said at the sentencing hearing. “I shot and killed people because they were Black. Looking back now, I can’t believe I actually did it. I believed what I read online and acted out of hate. I know I can’t take it back, but I wish I could, and I don’t want anyone to be inspired by me and what I did.”

According to the lawsuits, YouTube and Reddit “transformed and addicted” Gendron and prepared him for the attack on Tops market.

A spokesperson for Youtube said the company has the "deepest sympathies for the victims and families of the horrific attack at Tops grocery store in Buffalo last year."

"Through the years, YouTube has invested in technology, teams, and policies to identify and remove extremist content. We regularly work with law enforcement, other platforms, and civil society to share intelligence and best practices.”

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