EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- The mental state, and health, of the perpetrator of the deadly Buffalo shooting last year is a key aspect of lawsuits filed against the shooter's parents, gun manufacturers and social media companies by a victim's family member.
These civil suits claim that the parents abdicated their duty and failed to intervene before the attack at the Tops Friendly Market last year -- despite existing concerns about their son's mental health and mindset.
A total of 10 people were killed in the gunfire, and all victims were Black. The shooter, Patyon Gendron, was sentenced to life in prison.
The suits allege that the online platforms -- Reddit and YouTube, as well as Google -- prepped Gendron for the attack. The attorneys claim that social media had a transformative and addictive effect on the shooter.
Court documents claim that their design choices could have resulted in an addiction by Gendron, and helped create a mentality that led to the attack.
The shooter cited both YouTube and Reddit in a diary.
The suits are seeking punitive and compensatory damages.
Avery Martinez covers mental health in the Borderland as part of ABC-7’s Be Mindful initiative. He is also a Report for America corps member. RFA places talented, emerging journalists in newsrooms like ABC-7’s to report on under-covered issues and communities. Report for America is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to rebuilding journalism from the ground up.