A Republican state lawmaker with ties to white nationalists suggested the racially motivated mass shooting at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket was staged by government agents.
“Fed boy summer has started in Buffalo,” Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers wrote on Telegram. The first-term lawmaker has built a national profile among far-right extremists with incendiary rhetoric, diehard support for former President Donald Trump and an embrace of white nationalism.
Authorities said an 18-year-old white gunman traveled several hours on Saturday to a Black neighborhood in Buffalo, where he opened fire outside at a supermarket. Thirteen people were shot; 10 died. Most were Black.
The accused killer left a manifesto riddled with racist views and references to the “great replacement” conspiracy theory that white Americans are being replaced by people of color, according to The New York Times.
“Great replacement” rhetoric has been found in the online writings of several mass shooters, including the 2019 El Paso, Texas, gunman who killed 23 people at a Walmart, and the New Zealand shooter who massacred 51 people at two Christchurch mosques.
“We Americans who love this country are being replaced by people who do not love this country,” Rogers tweeted in July. “I will not back down from this statement. Communists & our enemies are using mass immigration, education, big tech, big corporations & other strategies to accomplish this.”
In March, she drew bipartisan condemnation and was censured by the Arizona Senate over her violent rhetoric. In February, she spoke at the white nationalist America First Political Action Conference in Florida. During her address, she praised Nick Fuentes, a prominent white supremacist and Holocaust denier, as a “patriot.”
Fuentes is among the other extremists to have baselessly suggested the Buffalo attack was a false flag.