CNN has reported that a mass shooting occurred at the TOPS Friendly Markets located at 1275 Jefferson Ave, Buffalo, NY 14208.
At approximately 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2022, 18-year-old Payton Gendron arrived at the grocery store donned in tactical gear and immediately opened fire in the parking lot shooting four victims. As he entered the store, he fatally shot the security guard. Additionally, victims included a substitute teacher, a retired police lieutenant, and a grandmother of six. In all Gendron shot 13 victims, of which ten died. The ages of the victims varied from 20 to 86.
This was not the first time Gendron had been to the grocery store that was about 200 miles away from his hometown of Conklin. In March, the shooting suspect visited the store and began plotting his attack. Investigators have uncovered a 180-page document that Gendron allegedly posted online. The mass shooting is being deemed a hate crime as he targeted a predominantly black community. He is being charged with first-degree murder but has pleaded not guilty to these charges.
While attending Susquehanna Valley Central High School in June 2017, Gendron made a threat to the high school that prompted police involvement. He was forced to undergo a mental health evaluation. Although the outcome of the evaluation was not released he was kept for only a day and a half.
Police also visited his house following a high school project that discussed murder-suicides. Many of his fellow classmates described him as a "loner" but nice.
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville is an experienced attorney who works for a gun violence law firm in New York that often handles mass shootings. During a recent discussion, Laurence highlighted how victims of gun violence could seek justice and compensation by filing a civil lawsuit.
"Shooting victims or the surviving family members may face significant doctor and hospital expenses, lost wages, and therapy bills as a result of their injuries. Fortunately, victims may be able to recover damages by filing a civil action, allowing them to focus on their healing and recovery. Victims of a mass shooting or their families are urged to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to learn about their legal options."
"Many times, violent crimes, such as shootings, are able to take place due to the negligence of a third party. This may include the failure of a gunshop to do a proper background check or the negligence of a property owner to provide sufficient security. In cases such as this, the third party may be held liable in a lawsuit."
"Property owners, including grocery stores, should maintain a level of security that reduces the risk of preventable threats. Security cameras, security guards, and ample lighting are just a few ways they can uphold this legal duty. If the area has seen an increase in crime or violence, the property owner would be responsible for increasing the level of security on its property. "
"Victims of violent crimes such as mass shootings should speak with an experienced attorney to explore their legal rights. The attorney will be able to identify any parties liable for the heinous act. Victims or their families may be entitled to financial compensation that can help with the many expenses brought on by the injury or death."