Peyton Gendron, the 19-year-old gunman responsible for the Buffalo supermarket, pleaded not guilty Monday to a federal hate crime. Gendron has also pleaded not guilty to a NY state prosecution.
Death Penalty Still On The Line
Peyton Gendron, the 19-year-old gunman responsible for the Buffalo mass shooting, pleaded not guilty Monday to federal hate crime charges that carried a possible death penalty.
Gendron has also pleaded not guilty to a NY state prosecution on charges including hate-motivated domestic terrorism, murder, and attempted murder as a hate crime; the domestic terrorism and hate crime charges carry automatic life sentences.
Gendron was indicted last week on the counts of hate crimes and weapons.
His attorney gave Gendron’s plea in court, stating that she had hoped to resolve the case before trial.
Attorney General Merrick Garland hadn’t ruled out seeking the death penalty against the gunman, even though Garland stopped federal executions last year.
“Any decisions on if the death penalty would be sought after would come later,” said the Justice Department.
“We all know he’s guilty. We saw what he did,” Zeneta Everhart, mother of an injured survivor, Zaire Goodman, said after the court proceeding. “The world saw what he did. He posted what he did.”
Within the indictment, prosecutors sought the forfeiture of an extensive arsenal recovered from Gendron’s car and home, which included the Bushmaster XM-15 semi-automatic rifle used in the shooting, a 12-gauge loaded shotgun, loaded bolt-action rifle, as well as ammunition taken from the car.
Additional ammunition and firearms accessories were removed from the home.
The federal indictment also indicted Gendron with ten counts of hate crimes resulting in death, three counts of hate crimes involving attempts to murder, and another one alleged he tried to kill other Black people in and around the store.
The indictment also included 13 counts of using a firearm in a hate crime.
Buffalo Shooter Faces Possible Death Penalty
Gendron is facing 26 counts of hate crime and firearm offenses filed by federal prosecutors.
These offenses carry the possibility of the death penalty.
The criminal complaint filed in New York’s Western District read, “Gendron’s motive for the mass shooting was to prevent Black people from replacing white people and eliminating the white race, and to inspire to commit similar attacks.”