A grand jury on Wednesday charged the White 18-year-old accused of fatally shooting 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket with domestic terrorism motivated by hate and 10 counts of first-degree murder. Payton Gendron, who has been in custody since the May 14 shooting, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Erie County Court.
The 25-count indictment also contains charges of murder and attempted murder as a hate crime and weapons possession.
The suspect had previously been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting, which also injured three people. He has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors told a judge on May 20 that the grand jury had voted to indict the suspect but was continuing its investigation.
Federal authorities also are investigating the possibility of hate crime charges against the suspect, who apparently detailed his plans and his racist motivation in hundreds of pages of writings he posted online shortly before the shooting. The attack was livestreamed from a helmet-mounted camera.
The suspect drove about three hours from his home in Conklin, New York, intending to kill as many Black people as possible, investigators have said.
His attorney, Brian Parker, said he had not seen the indictment and could not comment, adding that prosecution and defense attorneys have been barred by a judge from discussing the case publicly.
Last month, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul authorized the state’s attorney general, Letitia James, to investigate social media platforms used by the suspect to determine if they were liable for “providing a platform to plan and promote violence.”
Also, a 911 emergency dispatcher was placed on administrative leave after officials determined her handling of a phone call from an employee inside the store during the shooting was “completely unacceptable,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said.