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Man injured in Buffalo mass shooting and mother file petition in court against parents of suspect

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Posted at 1:35 PM, Jun 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 14:42:52-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Zaire Goodman, one of three people injured in the Buffalo mass shooting, and his mother, Zeneta Everhart, have filed a petition in court against the parents of the shooting suspect.

The application to obtain pre-action disclosure was filed by Goodman and Everhart against Paul and Pamela Gendron, the parents of Payton Gendron, in State Supreme Court in Erie County on Friday. The purpose of the pre-action disclosure is to preserve evidence for a potential lawsuit against the Gendron family and identify all possible defendants.

The petition claims the Gendrons "failed to use reasonable care to restrain Payton Gendron from so viciously conducting himself as to intentionally harm others despite their knowledge of his propensity for not only racism but violence." The document continues on to accuse the Gendrons of “carelessly, negligently, recklessly and illegally” supplying and permitting the suspect to possess weapons and body armor.

In the documents, the attack was referred to as a “foreseeable consequence” of Paul & Pamela Gendron’s “acts and omissions," and cites June 2021 as when the suspect began planning the attack.

The document also refers to unidentified potential defendants, meaning those who may have received the notice of the attack and his plans “via electronic means using various internet platforms” may someday face a lawsuit related to the attack.

The Gendrons have until July 29 to respond and the pre-action disclosure requests several pieces of information be preserved and/or disclosed. This includes but is not limited to:

  • All electronic devices the suspect used and all internet-enabled devices in his home.
  • All records of deliveries made to the home from January 1, 2020 to present.
  • All records of the suspect's travel from January 1, 2020 to present.
  • All disciplinary and attendance records concerning the suspect at Susquehanna Valley High School from January 1, 2020 to present.
  • All records concerning the suspect and NYSP and any other police department from January 1, 2020 to present.
  • All records concerning the suspect's comment during or before June 2021 that he planned to commit a “murder/suicide."
  • All records concerning any mental health evaluation of the suspect.
  • All records including registration papers, permits, background check paperwork, licenses, receipts regarding all firearms and ammunition purchased by the suspect or kept at the home and any instrument used by the suspect to plan for or carry out the attack.
  • Any and all ammunition or firearms, or their parts, at the home, used in the attack.
  • All evidence of or implements used in modifying the Bushmaster XM-15 by the suspect, including the drill used in modification.

According to further court documents, the suspect has possessed firearms since he was 16 when Paul Gendron gave him a hunting rifle as a Christmas gift. The court documents also say the suspect "had a propensity for racist outbursts since at least his sixth-grade year," when he was allegedly suspended from school after using a racial slur. In the documents, the suspect is accused of repeatedly stabbing a cat, smashing its head on concrete, and finally decapitating it with a hatchet on March 25, 2022. The documents say he then posted photos of the incident online and spoke to Pamela Gendron about it. The suspect also allegedly received a speeding ticket in the mail on March 26, 2022 while on one of his trips to Buffalo.

Gendron was arraigned on 25 counts in Erie County on Thursday, including a domestic act of terrorism charge, 10 counts of first degree murder, 10 counts of second degree murder, attempted murder and weapon charges.

Zeneta Everhart will be part of a panel that will testify before the House Oversight Committee on June 8 when the committee holds a hearing on gun violence.