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.
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.
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.
“They are teenagers, they’re idiots, their brains are not developed,” she told the Mail half-jokingly.
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
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.”
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.
“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.
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.
“This was well-planned … by a sick person,” Buffalo Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told ABC News.