WAUKESHA — A mass shooting in Buffalo, New York caused Waukesha to trend on social media over the weekend with people making comparisons to the Nov. 21 Christmas parade attack. Waukesha County defense attorney and former county district attorney Paul Bucher said the stories have nothing in common other than a close fatality count.
Some media outlets are reporting the Buffalo mass shooting suspect, Payton Gendron, had names of Christmas parade victims written on his firearm, but this hasn’t be verified.
“Anyone that makes a comparison between Buffalo and the Waukesha parade has no idea of the dynamics of either case,” Bucher said.
Bucher said both people are presumed innocent but the Buffalo mass shooting was “race baited, white supremacist, premeditated murder and he selected individuals of color.
“Which is even more horrific. There is no comparison,” he said.
On Saturday a white teenager wearing military gear opened fire at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, killing 10 people and wounding three others in what authorities described as “racially motivated violent extremism.”
Bucher said the person who committed the mass shooting had a hatred or disregard for people of one skin color.
“He selected those individuals allegedly by color of skin which makes this even more abhorrent,” Bucher said.
Police said he shot 11 black and two white victims before surrendering to authorities in a rampage he broadcast live on the streaming platform Twitch. The teen shooter allegedly posted a manifesto online. “Why didn’t anyone pick up on this (social media posts)? He allegedly had a (180)-page manifesto on a platform and nobody reported it. He said he was going to do this,” Bucher said.
Bucher added the only person to blame for the mass shooting was the shooter but people need to ask themselves how they missed this.
Darrell Brooks, 40, is charged with 83 crimes after allegedly driving his sport utility vehicle through the Waukesha Christmas Parade last November, killing six and injuring dozens more. He is slated to go to trial in October for that matter, but also has three other active felony court cases in Milwaukee County.
“This psycho with the Waukesha parade, he, I don’t believe, and I’m not privy to all the information, he wasn’t race-selective,” Bucher said.
Bucher thinks people are making comparisons because they are searching for a reason why such things happen. He said he used to react in a similar way to try to figure out why something happened but doesn’t do that anymore.
Bucher remembers a case he had involving an armed robbery homicide. He interviewed the defendant and asked why they killed a clerk. The person said, “Why not?”
He remembered that and moving forward gave up on wanting to know why.
“Every case is unique. The public is looking for an answer and I totally get that they want an answer. But unfortunately in this case (the parade) there is no answer,” Bucher said.
The “whataboutism” doesn’t answer any questions and detracts from the most important thing, the victims, according to Bucher.
Bucher encourages the public to stop asking why and focus on what is.
People on social media are also upset that President Joe Biden didn’t visit Waukesha but first lady Jill Biden did. The president and first lady are expected to visit Buffalo today. Bucher thinks people should be worrying about the victims.
“Support the families, the victims are gone. Support them and the community. If racism is an issue in your heart than seek help and get it out of your heart and soul,” Bucher said.
For the latest news on the Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy, click here.
Contributing: The Associated Press