A slew of criminal charges against the man officials say carried out a racist shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, was unveiled on Wednesday. If convicted, Payton Gendron could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The 18-year-old who drove hours from his hometown in upstate New York before using an assault rifle to kill 10 Black people and injured several others on May 14 was not only hit with first- and second-degree murder charges, but he was also charged under a domestic terrorism hate crime law, the Associated Press reported.
The charges against Gendron were revealed more than two weeks after the shocking attack at Tops Friendly Market, where the police managed to arrest the suspect without firing a single shot.
Specifically, Gendron is facing 25 criminal counts, including 10 counts each of first- and second-degree murder. He is also facing three counts of attempted murder as a hate crime and one count of criminal possession of a weapon.
The charge of Domestic Acts of Terrorism Motivated by Hate in the First Degree was brought “because of the perceived race and/or color” of the people Gendron allegedly targeted, according to the indictment.
Wednesday was the latest development in an egregious case of anti-Black racism committed by a suspect who has made no secret of his white supremacy ideology that he says compelled him to plan the attack for months by intentionally seeking out a large African American community.
Gendron allegedly used social media to not just plan the attack but also share those murderous plans with others. He wrote in what is reported to be his online manifesto that he learned to modify his assault rifle by watching YouTube videos and he even provided links to the videos in Discord chat logs. Those videos were still available for anyone to watch and take notes from more than a week after the shooting. Social media site Twitch allowed the carnage to be live-streamed to chat rooms on controversial sites like 4Chan, which were involved in the planning and carrying out of mass murder in Buffalo, too.
Funerals for the shooting victims — including multiple elderly people — began two weeks ago as civil rights attorney Ben Crump vowed to “sue everybody” identified as Gendron’s accomplices.
We absolutely intend on going after the gun manufacturers, the gun distributors and anybody else who was an accomplice to this young 18-year-old white supremacist,” Crump, who represents the families of fatal victims Andre Mackneil, Geraldine Talley and Ruth Whitfield, told reporters at Antioch Baptist Church in Buffalo. “We intend on going after everybody that was an accomplice to this young monster killing these innocent people.”
The “everybody” who Crump referenced could include everyone from Gendron’s parents to his friends to his other family members to even those on various social media channels who were made aware of the shooting in advance.