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Federal hate crime charges filed against Buffalo mass shooting suspect

Posted at 11:34 AM, Jun 15, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Federal hate crime charges have been filed against the 18-year-old man accused of fatally shooting 10 people and injuring three others at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo on May 14.

Payton Gendron faces the following charges, according to a criminal complaint:

  • Hate Crime Resulting in Death (10 counts)
  • Hate Crime Involving Bodily Injury and Attempt to Kill (3 counts)
  • Use of a Firearm to Commit Murder During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence (10 counts)
  • Use and Discharge of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence (3 counts)

The criminal complaint details the planning and preparation for the attack and the events that took place on the day of the shooting.

According to the criminal complaint, the alleged motive for the shooting "was to prevent Black people from replacing white people and eliminating the white race, and to inspire others to commit similar attacks."

The suspect allegedly fired approximately 60 shots during the attack. The complaint says the rifle used had various writings on it, which included:

  • The names of others who have committed mass shootings
  • Racial slurs
  • The statement “Here’s your reparations!”
  • The phrase “The Great Replacement.”

The criminal complaint says a federal search warrant was executed at the suspect's home the day after the shooting and a handwritten note was recovered in which the suspect apologized to his family for committing “this attack” and that he “had to commit this attack” because he cares “for the future of the white race.”

According to the criminal complaint, the suspect wrote a self-described manifesto that contained a detailed plan of the attack. In the manifesto, the suspect allegedly wrote that he was targeting the 14208 area code because of the percentage of Black people that live there and its proximity to where he lives. He also allegedly wrote that he chose the Tops location because it is where a high percentage and density of Black people can be found.

The criminal complaint also says the suspect allegedly went to Tops several times prior to the attack. At least three times on March 8, once on May 13, and about two-and-a-half hours before the attack on May 14.

The suspect was arraigned on a grand jury indictment on June 1 in Erie County Court. The grand jury indictment includes a domestic act of terrorism charge and 24 other charges. He faces life without parole if found guilty on the highest charge.

This story was originally reported by Anthony Reyes on