News Update

Buffalo shooting suspect charged with hate crimes, could face death penalty

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The Justice Department announced that Payton Gendron, the man accused of shooting and killing 10 black people at a Buffalo supermarket last month, has been charged with hate crimes. Those hate crime charges are just some of the federal charges the department announced Wednesday. The full list of charges includes:

  • 10 counts of committing a hate crime resulting in death
  • Three counts of committing a hate crime involving an attempt to kill
  • 10 counts of using a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence
  • Three counts of using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence

The Department announcement coincided with a trip Attorney General Merrick Garland made to Buffalo Wednesday.

“In the days and weeks since the attack, we have all witnessed the strength of this community’s bonds, its resilience, and its love. I am humbled to have just felt that firsthand in my discussions with the families,” Garland said. “Hate-fueled acts of violence terrorize not only the individuals who are all attacked, but entire communities. Hate brings immediate devastation, and it inflicts lasting fear.”

The hate crimes case is based partly on documents Gendron allegedly authored before the Buffalo shooting. In them, Gendron endorsed the “Great Replacement Theory,” a racist conspiracy theory that asserts that white people are being replaced by minorities.

In addition to the documents, FBI agents found a note Gendron wrote to his family in which he said he “had to commit this attack… for the future of the White race.” According to Garland, the choice of target of the shooting was built on racism as well.

“The affidavit in support of the complaint quotes the defendant as stating that his goal was to, ‘kill as many Blacks as possible,'” Garland said. “It alleges that he selected a target in this zip code because it has the highest percentage of Black people close enough to where he lives. He selected the Tops store because it is where a high percentage and high density of Black people can be found.”

The hate crime charges came with the possibility of the death penalty for Gendron, a penalty that Garland did not rule out Wednesday. Gendron was already facing life without parole in the state case on the shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Merrick Garland | Attorney General: “The complaint we have filed today charges Payton Gendron with ten counts of committing a hate crime resulting in death, three counts of committing a hate crime involving an attempt to kill.”
Jimmie Johnson: THE SUSPECT IN LAST MONTH’S DEADLY MASS SHOOTING AT A BUFFALO SUPERMARKET – IS NOW FACING FEDERAL HATE CRIME CHARGES.
THE CASE IS BASED PARTLY ON DOCUMENTS IN WHICH HE ENDORSED A RACIST CONSPIRACY THEORY.
F-B-I AGENTS ALSO FOUND A NOTE TO HIS PARENTS SAYING HE “HAD TO COMMIT THIS ATTACK FOR THE FUTURE OF THE WHITE RACE.”
Merrick Garland | Attorney General: “The affidavit in support of the complaint quotes the defendant as stating that his goal was to, ‘kill as many Blacks as possible.’ It alleges that he selected a target in this zip code because it has the highest percentage of Black people close enough to where he lives.”
Jimmie Johnson: WITH THE FEDERAL HATE CRIME CHARGES – THE SUSPECT NOW FACES THE DEATH PENALTY AS A POTENTIAL PUNISHMENT.
THE SHOOTER ALREADY FACES LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE IN NEW YORK.

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The Justice Department announced that Payton Gendron, the man accused of shooting and killing 10 black people at a Buffalo supermarket last month, has been charged with hate crimes. Those hate crime charges are just some of the federal charges the department announced Wednesday. The full list of charges includes:

  • 10 counts of committing a hate crime resulting in death
  • Three counts of committing a hate crime involving an attempt to kill
  • 10 counts of using a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence
  • Three counts of using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence

The Department announcement coincided with a trip Attorney General Merrick Garland made to Buffalo Wednesday.

“In the days and weeks since the attack, we have all witnessed the strength of this community’s bonds, its resilience, and its love. I am humbled to have just felt that firsthand in my discussions with the families,” Garland said. “Hate-fueled acts of violence terrorize not only the individuals who are all attacked, but entire communities. Hate brings immediate devastation, and it inflicts lasting fear.”

The hate crimes case is based partly on documents Gendron allegedly authored before the Buffalo shooting. In them, Gendron endorsed the “Great Replacement Theory,” a racist conspiracy theory that asserts that white people are being replaced by minorities.

In addition to the documents, FBI agents found a note Gendron wrote to his family in which he said he “had to commit this attack… for the future of the White race.” According to Garland, the choice of target of the shooting was built on racism as well.

“The affidavit in support of the complaint quotes the defendant as stating that his goal was to, ‘kill as many Blacks as possible,'” Garland said. “It alleges that he selected a target in this zip code because it has the highest percentage of Black people close enough to where he lives. He selected the Tops store because it is where a high percentage and high density of Black people can be found.”

The hate crime charges came with the possibility of the death penalty for Gendron, a penalty that Garland did not rule out Wednesday. Gendron was already facing life without parole in the state case on the shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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