Jul 14, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Buffalo shooter indicted on federal hate crimes charges

Police and FBI agents continue their investigation of the shooting at Tops Market on May 16, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The gunman accused of killing 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket in May was indicted Thursday of dozens of charges, including 10 counts of hate crimes resulting in death, the Justice Department said in a statement.

The big picture: Payton Gendron, 19, is accused of killing 10 people and injuring three at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York on May 14.

  • In what the FBI called "an act of racially motivated violent extremism," Gendron, who is white, drove more than 200 miles from Conklin, New York to allegedly commit the attack in a predominantly Black neighborhood. Eleven of the 13 people shot were Black.

Driving the news: Gendron was indicted on 27 total charges — 14 hate crimes charges and 13 firearms charges, according to the Justice Department.

  • The indictment alleges that Gendron, who was 18 years old at the time, "committed the offense after substantial planning and premeditation to commit an act of terrorism."

What they're saying: "The Justice Department fully recognizes the threat that white supremacist violence poses to the safety of the American people and American democracy," Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. "We will continue to be relentless in our efforts to combat hate crimes, to support the communities terrorized by them, and to hold accountable those who perpetrate them."

What's next: The charges carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment or the death penalty. Garland will decide whether to pursue the death penalty at a later time, the Justice Department said.

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