A Seattle area man has targeted the same Buffalo Supermarket where a white supremacist killed a group of Black people in May. According to CNN, 37-year-old Joey George was charged with two counts of making interstate threats after he allegedly called a Tops Supermarket location threatening to kill “all of the Black people in the store.”
As News One previously reported, on May 14, ten people lost their lives in a racist mass shooting incident that occurred at Tops in Buffalo, New York. A white teenager named 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron was responsible for the vicious attack.
According to officials, George reportedly called the supermarket twice, boasting of his plans to kill Black customers. During the first call on Tuesday, he allegedly asked an employee how many Black people were in the store at the time.
The question caused panic, combined with George’s claim that he was nearby and a good shot. Prosecutors said George called the store again on Wednesday, ranting about how he wanted to launch a full-on “race war” with the shooting. “This is what happens in a blue state,” he allegedly said.
George’s threats came just a few days after the supermarket reopened for the first time since the May shooting. Some community members expressed concerns about additional white supremacist attacks ahead of its reopening.
The suspect has a checkered criminal past.
This isn’t the first time the Lynwood, Washington native has been accused of making terroristic threats via phone. Records indicated that George harassed several other businesses in Maryland, Connecticut and Washington.
According to one complaint filed back in May, George allegedly called a restaurant in San Bruno, California. He threatened to shoot “any Black or Hispanic patrons if the restaurant did not close within twenty minutes.” At one point, he allegedly told a San Bruno police officer that he wanted to “attack Black people and strike fear into the Bay Area’s Black community.”
George is currently being held at a federal detention center in SeaTac, Washington, and is expected to appear in court on July 29. Nick Brown, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington, issued a statement about the startling incident.