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Authorities claim that the 18-year-old man who allegedly shot and murdered 10 people in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday afternoon was motivated by hatred when he attacked a store in the middle of a neighborhood with a high concentration of Black people.
According to police, 11 of the 13 people shot by the White suspect at the Tops Friendly Market were Black. Grocery shoppers, a brave former police officer who attempted to stop the shooter, a long-time substitute teacher, and a cab driver who “took pride in serving people” are among the victims, who range in age from 20 to 86.
Sheriff of Erie County John Garcia described the shooting as “pure evil” and a “straight-up racially motivated hate crime from someone outside of our community.”
According to Attorney General Merrick Garland, the US Department of Justice is looking into the shooting “as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism.”
First-degree murder has been charged against Payton S. Gendron of Conklin, New York, according to a news release from Erie County District Attorney John Flynn dated May 14. He entered a not-guilty plea.
Gendron was charged with 25 counts by a grand jury on June 1. According to court documents, he is accused of 10 charges of first-degree murder, 10 counts of second-degree murder committed as a hate crime, and 3 counts of attempted murder committed as a hate crime. In addition, domestic terrorism and a firearms allegation are brought against Gendron, according to court records.
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According to his lawyer, Gendron entered a not guilty plea to the 25-count indictment on Thursday afternoon.
On May 17, Gendron’s defense lawyer informed CNN that he will not make a statement at this time.
What is known about the suspect is as follows. According to Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia, the suspect was well armed, wearing military gear, including a tactical helmet and plated armor, when he entered the store about 2:30 p.m. He also had a camera that was livestreaming his activities.
During a press conference, Flynn claimed that he used an assault rifle.
According to Flynn’s news release, the suspect shot four persons outside the grocery store, killing three of them. He engaged in gunfire with a security guard inside the business who was armed and, according to the authorities, a former Buffalo police officer. The security guard’s wounds caused his death. According to the announcement, the gunman shot eight additional persons inside the business, killing six of them.
According to Buffalo police, when confronted by officers, the alleged shooter removed some of his protective gear and gave himself up.
According to Gramaglia, there is “some documentation” that the suspect intended to attack “another huge superstore” in addition to the Tops grocery as part of his shooting spree.
He claimed that there was proof that the man intended to continue his shooting spree if he had left the building.
Following his detention, the suspect made some really unsettling declarations about his intentions and mental state, a person involved with the inquiry told CNN. The official claimed that the alleged gunman made it plain in his words that he was targeting the Black community and that they were full with hate.
Investigators have learnt through the use of search warrants and other techniques that the alleged gunman was “studying” similar hate crimes and shootings.
According to Gramaglia, who said that the suspect was conducting reconnaissance at the store on Friday, the day before the shooting, the suspect was in Buffalo.
He appeared to be harassing customers, so when operations manager Shonnell Harris Teague noticed him there on Friday afternoon, she asked him to leave, she told ABC News.
She told ABC that Harris Teague saw the guy sitting on a bench outside, a camping bag on his back, and dressed in the same camouflage as he did on Saturday. He complied with the request to depart without protest, she claimed.
In support of the story, her brother, the Rev. Tim Newkirk, told The Buffalo News that the suspect “came in there posing as a beggar and was looking for change.”
She had to formally lead him outside. She was merely letting him know that this was not the place to do that because the Tops have a strict no peddling and no panhandling policy, according to Newkirk.