A federal grand jury returned a 27-count indictment on Thursday against Payton Gendron in connection with the mass shooting earlier this year at the Tops grocery in Buffalo, New York.
The indictment alleges that Gendron, 19, opened fire on May 14 with a Bushmaster XM rifle and shot multiple individuals in the grocery store, resulting in the deaths of 10 black individuals, as well as injuries to several others. Gendron was charged with 14 violations of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and 13 firearms offenses. He is charged with willfully causing the deaths of victims due to their actual an d perceived race.
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the charges, saying, “Today, a grand jury has indicted Payton Gendron with hate crime and firearms offenses following the horrific attack on the Black community of Buffalo that killed 10 people and injured three others on May 14, 2022.
“The Justice Department fully recognizes the threat that white supremacist violence poses to the safety of the American people and American democracy. We will continue to be relentless in our efforts to combat hate crimes, to support the communities terrorized by them, and to hold accountable those who perpetrate them.”
If convicted, the charges applied carry a maximum penalty of life in prison or the death penalty. Garland will make the decision about whether or not to seek the death penalty.
Currently, Gendron is being held in state custody pending state criminal charges.
Reporting from Just the News.