Buffalo shooting suspect charged with domestic terrorism: NPR


Payton Gendron is led into the courtroom for a hearing at Erie County Court in Buffalo, NY on May 19.

Matt Rourke/AP


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Matt Rourke/AP

Buffalo shooting suspect charged with domestic terrorism: NPR

Payton Gendron is led into the courtroom for a hearing at Erie County Court in Buffalo, NY on May 19.

Matt Rourke/AP

The 18-year-old white man accused of fatally shooting 10 black people at a Buffalo supermarket was indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday on hate-motivated domestic terrorism and 10 counts of first-degree murder.

Payton Gendron, who has been in custody since the May 14 shooting, is due in court Thursday in Erie County Court.

The 25-count indictment also contains charges of murder and attempted murder as a hate crime and weapons possession.

Gendron had previously been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting, which also injured three people. He pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors told a judge on May 20 that the grand jury voted to indict Gendron but did not disclose the charges, saying the proceedings were ongoing.

The domestic terrorism charge accuses Gendron of killing “due to the perceived race and/or color” of his victims.

Former Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed the Domestic Terrorism Hate Crimes Act in August 2019, following a mass shooting targeting Mexicans at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. The measure, dubbed the “Josef Neumann Hate Crimes Domestic Terrorism Act” after an attack on a rabbi’s home in Munsey, New York, was signed into law on April 3, 2020 and went into effect November 1, 2020.

The charge of domestic terrorism motivated by hate in the first degree carries a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Murder charges were filed for each of the victims, who ranged in age from 32 to 86 and included eight shoppers, the store’s security guard and a church deacon who drove shoppers to and from the store with their groceries .

The shooter, carrying an AR-15 type rifle he had recently purchased, opened fire Saturday afternoon at shoppers at the only supermarket in the predominantly black neighborhood.

The shooting, followed 10 days later by a mass shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, has rekindled a national debate about gun control and violent extremism .

Federal authorities are also investigating the possibility of hate crime charges against Gendron, who apparently detailed his plans and racist motivation in hundreds of pages of writings he posted online shortly before the shooting. The attack was broadcast live from a helmet-mounted camera.

Gendron drove about three hours from his home in Conklin, New York, intending to kill as many black people as possible, investigators said.

His lawyer, Brian Parker, said he had not seen the indictment and could not comment, adding that a judge had barred prosecutors and defense attorneys from discussing the case publicly. .


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