Experts give tips on how to spot a ‘lone wolf’ after Buffalo shooting

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Investigators have declared Saturday’s supermarket massacre in Buffalo, NY an act of racially motivated extremism.

Of the 13 people shot, 11 of them were Black. Detectives say 18-year-old Payton Gendron posted a 180-page document filled with racist ideology before live-streaming the tragic shooting.

The big question everyone is asking is are there any signs leading up to this point? Experts from the Southern Poverty Law Center told News Channel 8 that many of these “lone wolf shooters” are active on social media.

“Be aware of their online personalities. How invested are they in their pseudonyms and what are they doing online? ” Michael Edison Hayden told SPLC. “We’ve seen a number of shootings fueled by this kind of Great Alternative ideology of white supremacy.”

Hayden said he fears it could get worse and that these racist theories are no longer obscured. They are branching ahead.

“These things tend to come out in clusters and I’m very worried about it and I hope people are paying attention to people who are just online,” Hayden said. “The reality is that there are mainstream politicians who give voice to this ideology, such as figures like Matt Gaetz in Florida, who seem to endorse this Great Alternative theory.”

He said the key to slowing attacks like this is getting to a person before they turn into a lone wolf.

“We need to take those people in a positive, non-judgmental way and approach them before they do things like this,” says Hayden.

Mass shootings like this have multiple people competing. The ESS Global Institute and Corporation told News Channel 8 that people can prepare for an unsafe situation.

“The bad guys have discovered that a lot of places that were once considered safe like this are easy prey,” said owner Theodore Billiris.

Billiris says situational awareness is key. People should observe what is going on around them and who the people around them are.

“Understand what is going on in your surroundings,” he says. “Understand what the standards are. What is the baseline for this place”.

If someone is somewhere and doesn’t feel safe or spots something suspicious, Billiris encourages everyone to leave immediately.

“It’s the kind of thing that can put people to sleep,” he said. “It’s sometimes in their mind like ‘we’re not an enemy group.’ It’s not about that. Some of these people don’t necessarily have many enemies because they just want to go out and do bad things.” Experts give tips on how to spot a ‘lone wolf’ after Buffalo shooting

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