On Wednesday, a grand jury indicted the man accused of carrying out a racist shooting at a Buffalo, New York supermarket in a May massacre, killing 10 people.
Included in the 25-count indictment for 18-year-old Payton Gendron are 10 counts of first-degree murder, 10 counts of second-degree murder, and three counts of attempted murder, each as a “hate crime,” as well as a single count of criminal possession of a weapon.
The first count of the indictment, domestic terrorism motivated by hatred, entails a life sentence without the possibility of parole. It states Gendron allegedly acted “because of the perceived race and/or color” of those injured and killed in the shooting.
Gendron pleaded not guilty to all charges as of Thursday in the Erie County court in New York. It is not clear at this time why he pleaded not guilty.
“There is overwhelming proof of the defendant’s guilt,” said Assistant District Attorney John Fereleto. “The defendant was caught at the scene of the crime with the weapon in his hands.”
As The Dallas Express previously reported, Gendron allegedly arrived at a Tops grocery store on Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street in Buffalo, New York, around 2:30 p.m. on May 14, after reportedly traveling nearly 200 miles from Conklin, New York, to carry out the “planned attack” on the shoppers.
Shortly before opening fire, Gendron allegedly released documents detailing his white supremacist views and revealing that he had planned the attack for months.
Some of the victims’ family members attended the court hearing.
“We spoke in brief with the DA’s office just to kind of make it clear that when we can’t speak in the courtroom, they’re our voice,” said Dominique Douglas. “So I was happy to hear the counts against him, but beyond that, we want to see that come to fruition. Oftentimes, there’s lots of counts read, and there’s charges, but justice is what we don’t often get in the black and brown community.”