Broome County District Attorney Michael Korchak says he hasn't had access to last year's mental health report following a purported threat made by the Buffalo mass shooting suspect.

Korchak on Wednesday said Payton Gendron was interviewed by state police about a year ago after the then-Susquehanna Valley High School student made disturbing comments about murder and suicide during an online class.

Korchak said although Gendron advised a teacher his remarks were a joke, state police took the student to Binghamton General Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

At a news conference at his Binghamton office, Korchak said Gendron was evaluated by a mental health professional. The district attorney said "we don't have details of that report."

Broome County District Attorney Michael Korchak speaks at a news conference on May 18, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Broome County District Attorney Michael Korchak speaking to reporters on May 18, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Korchak noted the student was released to his parents and returned home. He was permitted to participate in graduation ceremonies because "at that point he was not a threat."

Korchak said police, school officials and mental health professionals "don't have a crystal ball. They can't read into the future." He said they could only evaluate Gendron based on the information they had at that time.

The district attorney said the case involved a 17-year-old student "who had no history of being treated for any mental illness that we know of." He said a person can't be detained unless he has been found to be "seriously mentally ill."

Korchak said his office is prepared to provide assistance to Erie County District Attorney John Flynn who is handling the case against Gendron for the Buffalo killings.

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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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