Today (May 20), an article from the New York Post states that 15 people accepted private chat room messages from suspected gunman Payton Gendron on the day of the shooting. The invitation is said to have contained a link to the live stream of the deadly attack.
The chat room was named “Happening: This is not a drill” and the story claims that Gendron spent months going into great detail about the planned massacre.
CNN added that the suspect sent out invite links on the Discord app for Saturday’s (May 14) shooting 30 minutes before it began.
A user who identified himself as Gendron on the app had written descriptive and chilling posts for months. In those entries, the author discussed that he’d previously scouted the grocery store before going through with his plan to kill as many Black people as possible.
Yesterday (May 19), The Washington Post said a person with knowledge of Discord’s investigation revealed that 15 of the users who received the invites also accepted them. From there, users could follow the link to the gunman’s Twitch account to watch the live stream.
The article continued by saying that once the 15 users opened their invites, they could scroll back and see months-worth of his haunting plans.
According to The Washington Post, they obtained a copy of an invitation from Gendron and believed that more people viewed the live killing than previously thought.
The Discord account is still under investigation. A spokesperson for the app released a statement saying, “Hate has no place on Discord and we are committed to combating violence and extremism.” The account in question has since been shut down following the attack.
The New York Post added that a Discord representative stated, “What we know at this time is that a private, invite-only server was created by the suspect to serve as a personal diary chat log.” They continued, “Approximately 30 minutes before the attack, however, a small group of people were invited to and joined the server. Before that, our records indicate no other people saw the diary chat log in this private server.”
An post about the suspect allegedly beheading a cat was one of the many entries associated with the app.
Yesterday (May 19), a grand jury indicted Gendron for first-degree murder. He is due back in court on June 9 at 9:30 a.m.