Tuesday, June 28, 2022

“Virginia Sorenson”: Payton Gendron wrote the name of the Waukesha Parade victim on his gun

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Payton Gendron had misspelled the name of Virginia Sorenson, a member of the “Dancing Grannies” parade troupe who was killed in the Christmas parade

The “racially motivated” teenager who gunned down ten people and injured three others at a Buffalo convenience store had his gun marked with the name of a victim of the Waukesha tragedy. Payton Gendron had misspelled the name of Virginia Sorenson, a member of the “Dancing Grannies” parade troupe who was killed in the Christmas parade. The N-word was also written above his gun.

On November 21, an SUV crashed into a parade in Waukesha, killing 5 people and injuring over 40. The driver was arrested and identified as Darrell Brooks, a career criminal who had seven criminal charges pending at the time of the incident.

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The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies are a choreographed dance/pompom parade group. Virginia Sorenson, 79, was a teacher and choreographer for the Dancing Grannies. She had been in the group for 19 years. She reportedly loved animals and took care of horses, chickens, dogs and cats at her home in Muskego. She was a former registered nurse.

Videos of the horrific incident, which went viral on social media, showed a red Ford Escape hurtling through white barricades before speeding down the street toward a high school marching band. The car drove right through the parade as screams filled the air, going over people and driving away as the crowd dispersed.

Payton Gendron, 18, drove from “hours away” in Conklin, New York, to Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue. Filming took place in a predominantly black neighborhood. Eleven of the victims were black and two of them were white. “We are investigating this incident as both a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism,” Stephen Belongia, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo field office, said during a news conference. Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said: “That was pure evil. It was a racially motivated hate crime.”

Gendron arrived at the market at around 2:30 p.m. He “was very heavily armed. He was wearing tactical gear. He was wearing a tactical helmet,” said Joseph Gramaglia, the Buffalo Police Commissioner. He confirmed that Gendron even had a camera to live stream the filming.

The gunman first opened fire in the parking lot, killing three people and injuring one. He then entered the store, where a longtime security guard and former Buffalo police officer tried to stop him. However, the guard’s bullet failed to penetrate the attacker’s armor. The gunman then shot the security guard. After working his way through the rest of the store, Gendron was confronted by Buffalo cops, who persuaded him to surrender. At one point he had reportedly held his gun to his own neck.

Gendron is the eldest of four children born to Paul and Pamela Gendron, both civil engineers who work for the New York State Department of Transportation. He has pleaded not guilty to the murders, his attorney has confirmed.

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