A makeshift memorial outside a Tops supermarket on May 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York after a gunman opened fire in the store. Photo: Scott Olson via Getty Images
The white gunman who killed 10 black people in a racist mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket in May pleaded guilty to multiple state charges Monday, including one count of domestic hate terrorism, the AP reported.
The whole picture: Payton Gendron, 19, faces a mandatory life sentence for what the FBI called a case of racially motivated violent extremism. The shooting led to 10 counts of first-degree murder and attempted hate crime as part of the 25-count indictment in state court.
- The domestic terrorism count carries life without parole — no maximum or minimum.
- Gendron initially pleaded not guilty, but attorneys for the victims’ families said earlier this month they had been informed he planned to change his plea and waive his right to appeal.
Do not forget: Gendron, who was 18 at the time of the shooting, allegedly drove more than 200 miles to carry out the attack in the predominantly Black neighborhood. Eleven of the 13 people he shot were black.
- The semi-automatic rifle he was using was inscribed with a racial epithet and the number 14, a white supremacist numerical symbol.
- He also streamed the footage live on Twitch for about two minutes, allowing for screenshots that circulated online for days to come.
Game state: Historically, people of color have been the most targeted group for hate crimes in most cities.
- Attacks on black and Asian people drove much of the increase in hate crimes in fiscal year 2020, which saw the highest number of reported hate crimes in 20 years, according to the FBI.
What’s next: Gendron has a sentencing hearing on the state charges scheduled for Feb. 15, though he still faces 27 federal charges — 14 hate crime charges and 13 firearms charges.
- “Gendron’s motive for the mass shootings was to prevent black people from displacing white people and eliminating the white race and to inspire others to commit similar attacks,” prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District wrote of New York in a June court. submission.
- “He selected the Tops store because it is where a high percentage and a high density of black people can be found,” US Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a news conference in June.
It’s worth nothing: The New York attorney general’s office said in an investigative report last month that Gendron “was first indoctrinated and radicalized” through online platforms where he consumed “explicitly racist, bigoted and violent content.”
Editor’s note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.