- A suspect in the Buffalo mass shooting was charged with first degree murder on Saturday.
- The teenager pleaded not guilty to the attack, which police said was racially motivated.
- Of the 13 people killed, 11 were black and two were white, police said.
An 18-year-old white man was charged with first degree murder in connection with a mass shooting at a Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, which police claimed to be racially motivated and resulted in the death of. 10 people.
The suspect, who has been identified as Payton Gendron of Conklin, New York, was tried Saturday night in the Buffalo City courthouse. He pleaded not guilty.
According to Erie County District Attorney John Flynn, Gendron is being held in prison without bail and is expected to appear in a crime hearing in five days.
“We’ve taken the appropriate steps right now to put him behind bars,” Flynn said at a news conference, adding that a first-degree murder conviction could lead to life in prison without parole.
Gendron appeared before the court in a mask and handcuffs, according to the images shared on social media by the journalists present.
—Kelsey Anderson (@ 4KelseyAnderson) May 14, 2022
Federal officials said in a press conference earlier in the day that the attack was being investigated as a hate crime and an act of “racially motivated violent extremism.”
Of the 13 people affected, 11 were black and two were white.
Police said the suspect arrived in heavy tactical clothing at the Tops grocery store at around 2:30 PM on Saturday before opening fire in the parking lot and then inside the store.
The suspect was confronted by a security guard who was a former police officer, but the guard’s bullets did not penetrate the suspect’s armor, police said. The security guard was killed in the attack.
The suspect was pointing the gun to his neck when police hired him and convinced him to lower his weapon, remove his tactical gear and surrender, authorities said.
Officials said the suspect used a camera attached to his tactical helmet to stream the attack.
confirmed that the attack was live streamed on his platform, but said it was repelled within two minutes of the violence.
At least 15 police cars were parked outside Gendron’s home in Conklin, New York on Saturday night, local WSYR reporter Andrew Donovan reported. reported.
—Andrew Donovan (@AndrewDonovan) May 15, 2022
A federal official confirmed to the New York Times a poster belonging to the suspect outlined plans to kill blacks and referred to the replacement theory, a conspiracy theory popular among white supremacists which claims that whites are replaced by people of color.
Known as the “Great Replacement” theory, the concept is well known among the far right and has been cited in the past as a motivation for violence.
The poster, which was posted online prior to the shooting, included detailed plans to carry out the attack, the official said, including the rifle the suspect intended to use and a detailed timeline of the day, including plans to shoot the guard first. security near the shop entrance before proceeding to shoot the black shoppers inside.
Gendron wrote in the poster that the shooting location was chosen because it had the highest percentage of black residents near his home, which authorities said was within hours of the crime scene, the Times reported.
The outlet said he also wrote that he was inspired by other mass shooters, including Dylann Roof, who killed nine black church members during a Bible study session in South Carolina in 2015.