HomeUSAHate crime charges filed against Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect

Hate crime charges filed against Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect

Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect Payton Gendron appears in a jail booking photograph in Buffalo, New York, U.S. May 14, 2022.

Erie County District Attorney | via Reuters

Federal prosecutors filed hate crime charges against the white gunman who allegedly killed 10 people in a racist attack at a western New York supermarket last month, officials said Wednesday.

The suspected Buffalo shooter, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, will face 26 counts of hate crimes and firearms offenses, which carry the potential of the death penalty, the Department of Justice announced. 

“Gendron’s motive for the mass shooting was to prevent Black people from replacing white people and eliminating the white race, and to inspire others to commit similar attacks,” according to the criminal complaint filed in the Western District of New York.

The 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.

Gendron on May 14 allegedly shot 13 people — 11 of whom are Black and two who are white — at the Tops Friendly Market in a predominantly African American neighborhood of Buffalo, police said.

The shooting was allegedly motivated by the “great replacement” theory, the false idea that a cabal is attempting to replace white Americans with nonwhite people through immigration, interracial marriage and, eventually, violence.

Attorney General Merrick Garland is scheduled to visit the scene of the crime on Wednesday.

It wasn’t immediately clear how any federal prosecution would be timed in relation to state charges.

Gendron has already been indicted on 25 state criminal counts that include murder and attempted murder as a hate crime and weapons possession.

A spokeswoman for Erie County District Attorney John Flynn declined comment on Wednesday.

NBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos said he’s confident the state case would go forward ahead of any federal prosecution.

“If I’m the federal prosecutors, I probably want to wait for the state case and get the benefit of that evidence and a conviction,” Cevallos said. “A (federal) hate crime is essentially a crime plus the additional element of motive. “

 This is a developing story. Please refresh here for updates.



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