Broome County's district attorney believes state police and school officials acted appropriately in responding to Payton Gendron's potentially-threatening remarks last June.

Michael Korchak issued a statement Tuesday afternoon addressing media reports regarding the suspect in the Buffalo mass shooting.

The 18-year-old Gendron, who was living in Conklin, is accused of traveling to western New York to go on a racially-motivated killing spree at a Tops market last Saturday. He is being held in Erie County on a charge of first-degree murder.

APTOPIX Buffalo Supermarket Shooting
Payton Gendron after he was taken into custody following a mass shooting in Buffalo. (Photo: Erie County District Attorney's Office via AP)
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Korchak's statement said "due to the abundance of false information in the media, I feel the need to set the record straight."

The district attorney - without mentioning Gendron by name, wrote that when he was a Susquehanna Valley High School student "in early June, in an online class, he made disturbing comments regarding murder/suicide."

Korchak said the school contacted New York State Police, who went to Gendron's home. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation. The student was then released. The DA wrote Gendron "subsequently returned to school, and even participated in his graduation without incident."

Michael Korchak in the "Binghamton Now" studio on November 21, 2019. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Michael Korchak in the "Binghamton Now" studio on November 21, 2019. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Korchak said based on the information he now has, "no direct threat was made to the school or any student." He said the school district and police "followed the procedures and protocols that were in place at that time."

Korchak indicated he expects state lawmakers will review the case and propose "appropriate changes as necessary, regarding mental health and background checks when purchasing firearms."

Gendron early this year bought a Bushmaster XM-15 semiautomatic rifle from Vintage Firearms in Endicott. The store owner said he ran a background check before he sold the weapon, which Buffalo authorities say was used in the supermarket shooting spree.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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