Payton Gendron, the suspected shooter in the racially motivated attack on Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, has pleaded guilty to state charges of terrorism and murder.
On Monday (November 28), Gendron, 19, pleaded guilty to 15 charges, including domestic terrorism motivated by hate, murder, and attempted murder, after killing 10 Black people and wounding three others in the Tops market shooting earlier this year, per ABC News.
The 19-year-old launched an attack against the Buffalo supermarket “because of the perceived race and/or color” of the victims, according to the indictment by the Erie County district attorney.
Gendron was initially charged with carrying out a “domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate” along with 10 counts of murder in the first degree, 10 counts of murder in the second degree as a hate crime, three counts of attempted murder as a hate crime and one count of criminal possession of a weapon.
“That charge only has one sentence if the defendant is found guilty of that charge: life in prison without parole,” Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said.
He also faces more than two dozen federal charges. Federal prosecutors have charged Gendron with 26 counts of committing a hate crime resulting in death and a hate crime involving bodily injury. Some of these charges carry the possibility of the death penalty.
In July, Gendron entered a not-guilty plea via his public defender.
Gendron has been linked to the online promotion of white supremacist rhetoric and racist conspiracy theories, which are said to be the motive behind his attack on Tops supermarket. According to officials, Gendron traveled from his home near Binghamton, New York to carry out the shooting in the predominately Black neighborhood.
His sentencing has been set for Feb. 15, 2023.
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