Payton Gendron, the man behind the  Buffalo supermarket shooting on May 14, will be facing 26 counts of hate crimes and firearm offenses filed by federal prosecutors. Some of the counts carry the possibility of the death penalty.

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The Possibility Of Death

Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old who opened fire at a Buffalo supermarket on May 14, will be facing 26 counts of hate crimes and firearm offenses filed by federal prosecutors. These offenses carry a possibility of the death penalty, as announced by the Department of Justice. 

 The criminal complaint filed in New York’s Western District stated that “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.”

These charges include 10 counts of hate crimes resulting in death, three counts of hate crimes involving bodily injury and attempt to kill, 10 counts of using a firearm to commit murder during and in retaliation to a crime of violence, and three counts of using and discharging of a firearm during and in retaliation to a crime of violence. The latter three counts in particular carry the potential of the death penalty. 

Attorney General Merrick Garland talked to reporters in Buffalo, “Hateful acts of violence terrorize not only the individuals who are all attacked but entire communities. At the Justice Department, we view confronting hate crimes as both as our legal and our moral obligation.”

In addition, Garland also revealed that the suspect squeezed off about 60 shots from his Bushmaster XM-15 rifle during the Tops Friendly Market massacre. 

“He repeatedly targeted, shot, and killed Black people,” said Garland. “Ballistics evidence recovered at Tops indicated that the gunman fired approximately 60 shots during the attack.”

Garland toured a memorial at the shooting scene and met with loved ones of victims on Wednesday. He said the decision to seek capital punishment is still up in the air.

“Those families and survivors will be consulted,” said Garland.

Buffalo Shooter Pleads Not Guilty To 26-Count Indictment

Payton Gendron, the 18-year-old suspect in the Buffalo, New York, supermarket shooting that killed 10 people has pleaded not guilty to the 26-count indictment against him, according to his attorney.

However, Susan Eagan, Erie County Supreme Court Judge, agreed with county prosecutor John Feroleto and held Gendron in custody till his July 7 court date.