The white gunman accused of killing 10 black men in a racist mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket Monday pleaded not guilty to federal hate crime charges that could carry the death penalty.
Payton Gendron was charged with hate crimes and gun counts last week. The lawsuit was filed in court by Gendron’s lawyer, who said they hoped to resolve the case before the trial. Gendron wore orange jumpsuits and shackles and remained silent during the brief indictment.
The 27-count federal indictment contains specific findings, including that Gendron planned a significant act of terrorism and targeted vulnerable elderly — specifically, 86-year-old Ruth Whitfield, 77-year-old Pearl Young, 72-year-old Katherine Massey, 67-year-old Heyward Patterson and 65-year-old Celestine Chaney.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, who halted federal executions last year, has not ruled out seeking the death penalty against Gendron, who turned 19 in June. The Justice Department said a decision on whether to seek the death penalty would come later.
Payton Grendon, seen in court above, is facing a 27-count charge including plotting an act of terrorism and targeting vulnerable elderly people
Gendron was arrested after allegedly killing 10 people at a Tops Market supermarket in Buffalo, upstate New York. Police said the massacre was motivated by the 19-year-old’s hatred of black people
Just a day after the shooting, people gather outside the Buffalo supermarket.
Earlier this month, a New York judge denied Gendron’s legal team’s request for a year to prepare a psychiatric evaluation for the alleged shooter.
However, Judge Susan Eagan granted his legal team a 90-day extension to gather more evidence.
Gendron, who live-streamed the May 14 attack, was arrested just outside the entrance of Tops Friendly Supermarket after donning a body armor and opening fire on weekend shoppers and employees in the car park and inside. Three people were injured.
Zeneta Everhart, whose son Zaire Goodman was injured in the shooting, told the court that Gendron was guilty.
“We all know he’s guilty. We saw what he did,” Everhart said. “The world saw what he did. He posted what he did.’
The store reopened to the public last week, two months after the deadly attack.
Reaction to the store’s reopening was mixed among family members of those killed. Garnell Whitfield, a former Buffalo fire commissioner, recounted CNN That anger is part of the emotion when dealing with the death of his mother, Ruth Whitfield, who was among those killed.
The Tops Friendly Markets, where Payton Gendron fired and killed 10 people on May 14, reopened last week. Community activist Samuel Herbert can be seen in the store.
“You go from being sad and missing your loved one to being angry,” Whitfield said. “It’s a lot to take in, knowing that other people are going through the same thing. It’s a lot to know that people sit in authority and basically give this nonsense the green light.
According to investigators, the gunman drove more than three hours from his home in Conklin, New York, to a busy grocery store chosen for its location in a predominantly black neighborhood with intent to kill as many black people as possible.
He was motivated, they said, by white supremacist beliefs, which he described in online journal entries.
Ruth Witfield, 86, the mother of former Buffalo Fire Department Commissioner Garnell Witfield, was among those killed in the killing spree
Family members spoke fondly of those killed in the shooting: Roberta Drury (left) “made the whole room smile and laugh” while Pearly Young (right) fed Buffalo residents in need for 25 years
Celestine Chaney was also one of the 10 people fatally shot at the Buffalo supermarket while shopping for strawberries. She was a breast cancer survivor
Gendron wrote about staging a livestream attack as early as November, practiced shooting from his car and scouted the store two months before executing the plans, the writings said.
He walked into the store in camouflage gear and a tactical helmet equipped with a video camera.
The prosecution calls for the forfeiture of an extensive arsenal recovered from Gendron’s car and home.
It includes the Bushmaster XM-15 semi-automatic rifle used in the shooting, as well as a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, a loaded bolt-action rifle, and ammo from the car.
Authorities confiscated additional ammunition and firearm accessories from his home.
Payton Gendron, 19, who is accused of fatally shooting 10 people at a Buffalo grocery store, lives with his parents in this home in Conklin, New York
The federal indictment charges Gendron with 10 counts of hate crimes resulting in death, three counts of hate crimes involving an attempt to kill three people, and another hate crime alleging that Gendron attempted to assault other black people in and around the store kill.
It also contains 13 counts of using a firearm in a hate crime.
Gendron also faces parallel prosecutions on charges including hate-motivated domestic terrorism, murder and attempted murder as hate crimes.
Charges of domestic terrorism hate crimes carry an automatic sentence of life imprisonment.
He has pleaded not guilty.
Payton Gendron is accused of killing 10 people at a Buffalo convenience store
Aaron Salter, 75, retired Buffalo police officer who worked as a security guard at a grocery store
Ruth Whitfield, 86, mother of former Buffalo Fire Department Commissioner Garnell Whitfield, was grocery shopping
Katherine Massey, 72, was at the grocery store to pick up groceries
Pearly Young, 77, has been feeding needy residents in Buffalo’s Central Park neighborhood for 25 years
Celestine Chaney, 65, a breast cancer survivor, was at the grocery store to buy strawberries for Shortcake
Roberta Drury, 32, was at the store to shop for groceries for dinner
Heyward Patterson, 68, often drove people to and from the grocery store and helped them carry their groceries
Geraldine Talley, 62, had been in the store to buy a few items
Andre Mackniel, 53, was in Buffalo visiting relatives and went to the store to buy a surprise birthday cake for his grandson
Margus Morrison, 52, was a bus assistant for Buffalo schools