The Department of Justice has filed multiple federal hate crimes charges carrying the potential of the death penalty against alleged Buffalo shooter Payton S. Gendron.
The 18-year-old suspect is charged with 10 counts of hate crime resulting in death, three counts of hate crime involving bodily injury, 10 counts of use of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a violent crime and three counts of use and discharge of a firearm during a violent crime, according to a criminal complaint.
The complaint filed by prosecutors in the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York states 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 others to commit similar attacks.”
Gendron, who is White, shot 13 people – 11 of them Black – at the Tops Friendly Market on May 14. Ten of those victims died.
The US Department of Justice was investigating the shooting “as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism,” according to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
On June 1, a grand jury in New York returned a 25-count indictment against Gendron. He is facing 10 counts of first-degree murder, 10 counts of second-degree murder as a hate crime and three counts of attempted murder as a hate crime, according to court documents. Gendron is also facing a charge of domestic terror and a weapons charge, according to court documents.