/  05.17.2022

CNN anchor Victor Blackwell breaks down in tears on Monday (May 16) while reporting outside of Tops, the scene of the mass shooting that left 10 people dead at the supermarket in Buffalo, New York on Saturday (May 14).

“I’ve done 15 of these. At least the ones I could count,” Blackwell said on the air, as his voice started shaking.

“And we keep having the conversation about Democrats will say guns, Republicans will say mental health, and nothing will change. And I’ll probably do another one this year,” he added. “Is this the way we’re supposed to live?” Blackwell asked. “Are we destined to just keep doing this city after city? Have we just resigned that this is what we are going to be?”

Blackwell’s remarks came after 10 people were killed and three were critically injured in the mass shooting that authorities said to be a “racially motivated hate crime.” 11 of the victims were black.

Payton Gendron, the shooting suspect who allegedly traveled almost 200 miles in combat uniform purposely planned the attack in a predominately Black neighborhood, according to authorities.

Gendron is suspected of writing a 180-page manifesto where references to previous mass shooters who inspired his actions were made, including Brenton Harrison Tarrant, who killed 51 Muslims during prayer services in New Zealand in 2019, and Dylann Roof, who killed nine Black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C in 2015.

He is facing first-degree murder charges and has pleaded not guilty.

Relatives of Gendron are blaming COVID for his attack, saying that it was his “paranoia and isolation” due to the pandemic that made him go on a rampage.

“He was very paranoid about getting COVID, extremely paranoid, to the point that his friends were saying he would wear the hazmat suit [to school],” said Sandra Komoroff, a cousin of Gendron’s mom, Pamela, to The New York Post. “And then he got COVID just a few weeks ago… He went to family functions with a respirator mask on. He totally wasn’t going to get COVID and then he got COVID.”

 

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