BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The white man charged with carrying out a racist attack that killed 10 people and wounded three others at a Buffalo supermarket is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on a 25-count indictment that includes state charges of murder and hate-motivated domestic terrorism.
Payton Gendron, 18, is due before Erie County Judge Susan Eagan for an afternoon hearing. He has been held without bail since allegedly using an AR-15-style assault rifle to target shoppers and employees of a Tops Friendly Market that authorities said he chose because of its location in a predominantly Black neighborhood.
All 10 people killed in the May 14 assault were Black. They ranged in age from 32 to 86.
An Erie County grand jury on Wednesday indicted Gendron on a domestic terrorism charge that carries a life sentence, along with 10 counts of first-degree murder, 10 counts of second-degree murder as a hate crime, criminal possession of a weapon and three counts of attempted murder as a hate crime.
The indictment built on a previous murder charge filed shortly after his arrest immediately following the attack. Gendron has pleaded not guilty.
The domestic terrorism charge — domestic acts of terrorism motivated by hate in the first degree — accuses Gendron of killing at least five people “because of the perceived race and/or color” of his victims.
Prosecutors said Gendron drove about three hours to Buffalo from his home in Conklin, New York, intending to kill as many Black people as possible. Shortly before opening fire, he posted documents that outlined his white supremacist views and revealed he had been planning the attack for months.
The shooting, followed 10 days later by a mass shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers inside an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, has renewed a national debate about gun control.