Buffalo mass shooting suspect Payton Gendron surveilled both the community and the grocery store as part of the planning of his attack, Mayor Byron Brown told CNN.
"It sounds like he was here for maybe several days from reports that I’ve been hearing and that he did surveil this community, was scouting the supermarket, actually talked to some people in the area," Brown told CNN.
Investigators believe the suspect researched the area and "targeted the busiest place at one of the busiest times," Gov. Hochul also told CNN.
"This was targeted by zip code," Hochul said. "This was the highest concentration of African-Americans within hours."
That account matches a line from an apparent manifesto posted online, where an author claiming to be Gendron says, "Zip code 14208 in Buffalo has the highest black percentage that is close enough to where I live."
Some background: The zip code that includes the store, 14208, is 78% Black, according to the Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. It is among the top 2% of zip codes nationwide with the highest percentage of Black population and has the highest percentage of Black population of any zip code in upstate New York. In comparison, 13748, the zip code that includes Gendron's hometown, Conklin, is 89% White and 0.4% Black.
CNN’s Casey Tolan contributed to this report.