August 11, 2022

Accused white-supremacist mass murderer Payton Gendron dropped off ammunition and a high-powered rifle at his best friend’s home the day before his slaughter at a Buffalo supermarket, the pal has claimed.

The 18-year-old suspect showed up unannounced at 8 a.m. to drop off the terrifying arsenal with longtime pal Matthew Casado, a 19-year-old Hispanic man who has a black girlfriend, the friend told ABC News.

Casado — whose mother described Grendon as “like my other child” — was at work at the time in Conklin, NY, about 200 miles from where the mass shooter allegedly targeted black shoppers in Buffalo the next day.

Grendon texted him around 4:30 p.m. to say that a roommate had let him in to “put ammo cans in my room because he needed space to arrange in his house,” Casado told the outlet.

Payton Gendron showed up unannounced at 8 a.m. to drop off the arsenal with pal Matthew Casado.
Payton Gendron talks with his attorney during his arraignment in Buffalo City Court, Saturday, May 14, 2022
Payton Gendron talks with his attorney during his arraignment in Buffalo City Court, Saturday, May 14, 2022.
Mark Mulville/The Buffalo News via AP

Gendron promised to pick up the ammunition that night — but never came, Casado told ABC.

He told the Daily Mail that the unwanted drop included five boxes of 5.66 mm high-caliber ammunition, a high-powered rifle and two additional boxes of unspecified potential evidence.

“I was infuriated because he thought my house was a storage unit because he said he had to rearrange his house,” he said.

A man is detained following a mass shooting in the parking lot of TOPS supermarket, in a still image from a social media video in Buffalo, New York, U.S. May 14, 2022
Payton Gendron is detained following a mass shooting in the parking lot of TOPS supermarket.
BigDawg via REUTERS
Police officers secure the scene after a shooting at TOPS supermarket in Buffalo, New York, U.S. May 15, 2022.
Payton Gendron pleaded not guilty and was jailed under a suicide watch.
REUTERS/Jeffrey T. Barnes

It was not immediately clear why he would have left the ammo rather than take it to Buffalo, where Grendon allegedly planned to go on to commit further mass shootings.

Panicked, Casado’s mother, Pamela Burdock, said she moved the boxes into her own trailer nearby over fears that teens could access it at her son’s home.

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“They are teenagers, they’re idiots, their brains are not developed,” she told the Mail half-jokingly.

A body lies covered in the parking lot of a supermarket where several people were killed in a shooting, Saturday, May 14, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y.
A body lies covered in the parking lot of a supermarket where several people were killed in a shooting, Saturday, May 14, 2022 in Buffalo, NY.
Mark Mulville/The Buffalo News via AP
An investigator works at the scene of a shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, N.Y., Monday, May 16, 2022
An investigator works at the scene of a shooting at a supermarket, Monday, May 16, 2022
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Casado said he got a call on Saturday afternoon telling him that his friend was the only suspect in the Tops Friendly Market massacre that killed 10 people.

“By the time I got home police were already there,” he told the Mail.

“My dad and I went to the state police barracks and gave them a full rundown of everything we knew,” he said.

More coverage on the Buffalo supermarket shooting

Victims killed during the Buffalo mass shooting are seen in a photo composite:
The victims killed during the Buffalo mass shooting.
Law enforcement personnel are seen outside the home of Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect Payton Gendron in Conklin, New York
Law enforcement personnel are seen outside the home of Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect Payton Gendron in Conklin, New York.
REUTERS/Angus Mordant

The pal, who is Hispanic, said he was also shocked to hear that his close friend — who regularly hung out with him and his black girlfriend — had allegedly written a manifesto full of deranged white supremacist conspiracies.

“I always thought he was a kind harmless person. He never stuck out to me as dangerous. He never stuck out to me as racist,” he told ABC News.

Casado’s 19-year-old girlfriend, Skylar McClain, told the Mail that the teen suspect “never did anything that made me think that he was racist.”

A general view of the house of Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect Payton Gendron in Conklin, New Yor
The house of Payton Gendron in Conklin, New York.
REUTERS/Angus Mordant
A plaster imprint of Payton Gendron's hand from 2008 sits on the front porch of his home, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Conklin, N.Y.
A plaster imprint of Payton Gendron’s hand from 2008 sits on the front porch of his home, Monday, May 16, 2022, in Conklin, NY.
AP Photo/Michael Hill

Now, she said, “‘I just wish I had never met him … He is a disgrace.”

Pamela Burdock insisted to ABC News that Gendron “respected his parents’ wishes” and refrained from ever playing shoot-’em-up video games, playing on his phone while her son played “Call of Duty.”

“Payton didn’t play video games that had guns. He wasn’t allowed to. He wasn’t allowed to at his house, and when he came here, he chose not to,” she insisted.

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Law enforcement personnel search a shed at the home of Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect Payton Gendron
Law enforcement personnel search a shed at the home of Payton Gendron.
REUTERS/Angus Mordant
People gather near Tops Friendly Markets supermarket following a mass shooting on Sunday, May 15, 2022
People gather near Tops Friendly Markets supermarket following a mass shooting on Sunday, May 15, 2022.
James Keivom

“I love Payton. He was like my other child,” she told ABC. “It’s breaking my heart that he did this.”

Gendron allegedly used an AR-15-style rifle and used a helmet camera to livestream the bloodbath on the Internet, authorities said.

He was wearing body armor when he surrendered inside the supermarket and was arraigned on a murder charge over the weekend. He pleaded not guilty and was jailed under a suicide watch.

Vintage Firearms, the gun shop where Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect Payton Gendron legally purchased his weapon
Vintage Firearms, the gun shop where Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect Payton Gendron legally purchased his weapon.
REUTERS/Angus Mordant
People gather during a vigil near Tops Friendly Markets supermarket following a mass shooting on Sunday, May 15, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y.   Payton Gendron, 18, of Conklin, New York, allegedly killed 10 people and injured three others at the Tops grocery store.
Payton Gendron allegedly used an AR-15-style rifle and used a helmet camera to livestream.
James Keivom

A 180-page document purportedly written by Gendron said the attack was intended to terrorize all nonwhite, non-Christian people and get them to leave the country.

Federal authorities said they are working to confirm the document’s authenticity as they also contemplate bringing hate crime charges.

Gendron had briefly been on authorities’ radar last spring, when state police were called to his high school for a report that the then-17-year-old had made threatening statements.

Investigators work the scene of a shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, N.Y.
Investigators work the scene of a shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, NY.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

“This was well-planned … by a sick person,” Buffalo Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told ABC News.