Former U.S. Attorney says shootings such as the one in Buffalo are hard to predict

May 16, 2022, 7:12 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 11:34 am
buffalo shooter...
Investigators work the scene of a shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, N.Y., Monday, May 16, 2022. While law enforcement officials have grown adept since the Sept. 11 attacks at disrupting well-organized plots, they face a much tougher challenge in intercepting self-radicalized young men who absorb racist screeds on social media and plot violence on their own. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

SALT LAKE CITY — Authorities in New York are still trying to figure out the events leading up to a shooting in a Buffalo supermarket that left 10 people dead, and three others injured on Saturday.

Police say the alleged gunman had a racist agenda when he began firing at shoppers and employees at the Tops grocery store.

Last year, the suspect had made alleged threats to his high school. After that reported threat, the suspect was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation. 

John Huber is a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah. He joined KSL NewsRadio’s Dave and Dujanovic, and says police can’t always anticipate such cases as the one in Buffalo.

“I think that we presume that law enforcement has all these tools and capabilities,” he said. “When in reality, they don’t. We live in a nation that values civil liberties (and) privacy to the point that we place a lot of restrictions on police, probably for good cause and good reason. But the tradeoff is that you cannot predict with certainty when something outrageous or horrific is going to happen.”

Police say the suspect allegedly wrote a 180-page manifesto prior to the incident. He had also traveled 200 miles from his home in Conklin, New York to Buffalo to commit the alleged crime. 

Huber broke down when written threats change from being legal to illegal.

“Are there thought police who can read our minds and read the minds of the criminals and terrorists and know what they are going to do next,” he said. “We don’t. We can’t do that until they act out on it.”

Huber says that the criminal will have to be in the process of committing the act before law enforcement can step in.

“It’s going to be, unfortunately, when they step forward towards committing that crime,” he said. “And hopefully, we can catch them in the process. But to predict when someone is going to travel 200 miles, strap on gear, and then walk into a grocery store, that’s almost an impossible job to ask law enforcement to do.”

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

Read more:



We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Crime, Police + Courts

Sherree Warren pictured...
Samantha Herrera

COLD: Lying Liars

Cary Hartmann hopes DNA will prove his innocence. But an informant tells police Cary might’ve buried Sheree Warren’s body next to a highway.
14 hours ago
dps helicopter pictured...
Adam Small

DPS helicopter rescues trending up this year

The Department of Public Safety says preparation and caution go a long way toward staying safe outdoors.
14 hours ago
lori daybell...
Dan Bammes

Death penalty off the table for Lori Vallow Daybell

Lori Daybell and her husband Chad stand accused of the murders of her two children.
14 hours ago
spencer cox is pictured, he just signed a bill about domestic violence lethality assessments...
Bridger Beal-Cvetko,

Cox signs bill requiring lethality assessments in Utah domestic violence cases

The law requires law enforcement to conduct lethality assessments during all domestic violence calls
14 hours ago
The US Capitol Police force "is not currently tracking any direct or credible threats to the US Cap...
Priscilla Alvarez, Devan Cole, Alex Marquardt and Holmes Lybrand, CNN

Capitol Police see no current threat to US Capitol, but DC prepares after Trump calls for potential indictment protests

 (CNN) — The US Capitol Police force “is not currently tracking any direct or credible threats to the US Capitol” ahead of a possible indictment of former President Donald Trump, according to a department intelligence assessment obtained by CNN. But officials in Washington are preparing for demonstrations that could erupt, a district official told CNN on Monday. […]
14 hours ago
Pictured is one of two guns seized by police at Highland High School on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. Sal...
Mark Jones

Salt Lake City Police to host gun buy-back event on Saturday

A gun buy-back event will be held Saturday, March 25. It is being put on by the Salt Lake City Police Department.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...
BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.
Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a new winter activity? Try skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five common causes of Cervical Cancer – and what you can do to lower your risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get ready for fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 easy Christmas dinner ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Former U.S. Attorney says shootings such as the one in Buffalo are hard to predict