The Justice Department filed federal hate crime charges on Wednesday against the teenage white supremacist accused of killing 10 Black people in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, last month.
Payton Gendron,18, faces 26 counts of hate crimes and firearms offenses, according to the charges. The complaint further alleges that Gendron’s motive for the mass shooting, which he live-streamed on the Internet, was to prevent Black people from replacing white people and eliminating the white race, and to inspire others to commit similar attacks.
The DOJ’s complaint outlines in detail how Gendron dressed in body armor and deliberately moved through the store to target as many Black people as he could before he was taken into custody by Buffalo police. When he was taken into custody, officers recovered the rifle used by Gendron in the attack. The rifle had various writings on it, including racial slurs, the statement “Here’s your reparations!,” and the phrase “The Great Replacement.” Investigators have determined that Gendron fired approximately 60 shots during the attack. Two other firearms, a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, and a loaded bolt-action rifle, as well as three loaded rifle magazines, were recovered from Gendron’s vehicle after the massacre.
Payton Gendron, the white 18-year-old accused of shooting dead 10 Black people at a supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., has been charged with 26 counts of hate crimes and firearms offenses by federal prosecutors. pic.twitter.com/V6Q3XREKH6
— Forbes (@Forbes) June 15, 2022
In the months preceding the attack, Gendron wrote a self-described manifesto containing a detailed plan to shoot and kill Black people at Tops, explaining that he selected the zip code 14208 because it has the highest percentage of Black people close enough to where he lives, and that he selected the Tops store because it is where a large number of Black people can be found.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department filed federal hate crime charges against Payton Gendron, a white supremacist accused of killing 10 Black people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, last month https://t.co/6NpzbUzfW5 pic.twitter.com/nxtQaPp3I4
— Reuters Legal (@ReutersLegal) June 16, 2022
Upon conviction, the charges in the complaint carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment or the death penalty. Gendron is currently in state custody pending state criminal charges.