The Buffalo Shooting Suspect Can Now Get the Death Penalty

New federal hate charges mean the suspect, charged in a racist attack that killed 10 people, is eligible for the death penalty.
On May 14, Payton Gendron allegedly entered a Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York, with an AR-15 rifle and systematically killed 10 people and injured three more. The majority of the victims were Black.
People gather at a memorial for the shooting victims outside of Tops grocery store on May 20, 2022 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)


The 18-year-old accused of killing 10 people in Buffalo during a racist shooting spree that he livestreamed to Twitch has been charged with federal hate crimes.

On May 14, Payton Gendron allegedly entered a Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York, with an AR-15 rifle and systematically killed 10 people and injured three more. The majority of the victims were Black.

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The shooter already faces multiple charges for murder and domestic terrorism motivated by hate, the first person ever in New York state to face the charge. He will now be facing 26 hate crime charges, including 10 counts of a hate crime resulting in death and three counts of hate crime involving bodily injury, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday.

The complaint states that the shooter's motive was “to prevent Black people from replacing white people and eliminating the white race, and to inspire others to commit similar attacks."

The accused shooter published a manifesto inspired by the man who killed 51 in a similar racist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, and a long diary outlining his planning of the attack. One of the focal points of his rambling screed was the idea that the white population of North America is being replaced by people of color. The conspiracy, known as the “great replacement” theory, has been growing in popularity among the mainstream political right for years now. 

The alleged shooter was already facing life in prison, and the additional hate crime charges mean he is now eligible to face the death penalty. He pleaded not guilty to his initial charges. 

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