Victims sue websites used by gunmen who murdered 10 people in a Buffalo

Victims were horrified. They hid in the store’s freezers out of fear. 

Some were stunned to watch a White gunman shoot and kill ten mostly Black people during a massacre in a Buffalo, N.Y., shopping center. 

Now the survivors have sued gun manufacturers, the retailer where the gunman bought the weapons, the killer’s parents, and specific websites that radicalized the killer. 

Two lawsuits were filed following the massacre on May 14, 2022, when Payton Gendron, 19, killed shoppers and workers at Tops Friendly Market. He surrendered peacefully to police after killing more than a dozen people.

One of the lawsuits was filed by Wayne Jones, the son of Celestine Chaney, 65, one of the victims murdered at Tops Friendly Market.

The second lawsuit was filed by 16 others who are seeking compensation. They were not shot or wounded by the gunman, but the deadly shooting haunts them.

Fragrance Harris Stanfield, one of the survivors, said “She will live in fear forever.â€

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday by the nonprofit “Everytown for Gun Safety,†and names multiple defendants, including YouTube and Reddit, online sites where the shooter was radicalized, including the retailer who sold a gun to him and the manufacturer of his body armor that he wore. 

Both lawsuits were filed in New York Supreme Court. 

The filing was bought by Everytown for Gun Safety, an Americanadvocatinganization that advocaendingun control and an end to gun violence. 

Everytown was formed in 2013 due to a merger between Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. The founder is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Two other law firms have joined the lawsuit. 

The other law firms are Bonner & Bonner, which is based in Sausalito, California, and Ryder Law Firm, which is based in Syracuse, N.Y. All three law firms represent the defendants.

The lawsuit charges Paul and Pamela Gendron with ignoring warning signs that allowed their son to amass combat gear in their home. This a violation of the New York State’s “Red Flag” law which required disarming him. 

Payton Gendron had also stabbed to death and decapitated a cat in his family’s garage two months before the murders.

  • Both lawsuits named MEAN Arms LLC, a magazine-lock manufacturer that sold an easy lock that allowed  Gendron to purchase and use an AR-15 assault weapon with a 30-round magazine.
  • RMA Armament also was charged with selling Gendron body armor.
  • Vintage Firearms also sold assault weapons used in the carnage.
  • The lawsuit also names YouTube (and its parent companies Alphabet Inc. and Google) which contributed to his radicalization and helped him acquire equipment. 
  • Another defendant was Reddit Inc. which the shooter used to become radicalized.
  • Witnesses are still suffering from undisclosed trauma from the shooting. Some survivors are afraid to leave home.
  • Wearing tactical gear, body armor, and carrying an AR-15-style rifle, Gendron streamed the deadly shooting over the Internet. He wrote on the AR-15 weapon, “Heyour reparations.â€

Some of suffer like Stanfield may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. 

The mind tells you it’s a “fight-or-flight†response, which helps us avoid or respond to potential danger.