SV, SUNY Broome Officials Mum on Former Student Payton Gendron
Representatives of the Susquehanna Valley School District and SUNY Broome Community College won't answer questions about Payton Gendron, a former student accused in a racially-motivated killing spree in Buffalo.
Gendron is a 2021 Susquehanna Valley High School graduate who had resided in Conklin. Shortly before graduation, state police were notified after he allegedly threatened to carry out a murder-suicide.
Gendron was questioned and then taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation. He was released after a short time and apparently allowed to participate in graduation activities at the school.
School district superintendent Roland Doig posted a brief statement online Sunday saying Susquehanna Valley staff and families "are unspeakably saddened by the news of the shooting in Buffalo." But there was no reference to Gendron or what school officials did following the threats apparently made less than a year ago.
The school district now has retained the global Edelman public relations firm to handle "any and all inquiries and questions you may have relative to Payton Gendron." An Edelman representative said the no additional statements are planned regarding the matter as law enforcement agencies investigate the mass shooting that left 10 people dead.
SUNY Broome president Kevin Drumm released a statement Monday afternoon saying "we were heartbroken to learn that the gunman, a former student of our community, entered" the Tops market in Buffalo "with the specific intent of killing innocent people of color."
Drumm's statement said: "Ten souls were lost and three were injured in an act of pure violence and hatred. We at SUNY Broome wish to stress that we stand firmly united against hate and intolerance in all forms."
The statement did not indicate why Gendron, who attended the school for the fall semester, was no longer a SUNY Broome student.
SUNY Broome has released no information on whether Gendron had exhibited any unusual or threatening behavior during his brief time as a student.
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