In mass shooting, attacker in Buffalo supermarket pleads guilty

The American man who carried out a white supremacist attack on a supermarket in a predominantly black area will face life in prison.

A white supremacist gunman who carried out a mass shooting that killed 10 people at a supermarket in a predominantly black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and other charges.

Payton Gendron, 19, pleaded guilty Monday to multiple charges related to the deadly May attack, including “hate-motivated domestic terrorism,” which carries a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Erie County courthouse hearing was about two miles from the grocery store where Gendron used a semiautomatic rifle and body armor to carry out a racist attack that he hoped would help preserve white power in the United States. USA.

“It was established beyond a reasonable doubt that he had this gruesome motive, that in a little over two minutes he murdered as many African Americans as he could,” Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said at a news conference after the guilty plea. “Today justice has been done.”

The May 14 shooting at Tops Friendly Market killed 10 people and injured three others, ranging in age from 32 to 86. Of the 13 people shot by Gendron in the attack that authorities say was inspired by white supremacist beliefs, 11 were black.

As the hearing progressed, city officials and relatives of the victims filled the gallery, some wiping their eyes during what Chief Justice Susan Eagan called a “tremendously emotional event.”

Gendron sat quietly, answering “yes” and “guilty” as the judge read out the names of the victims and asked the shooter if he had killed them because of their race.

The verdict comes as the United States continues to suffer from mass shootings and hate-inspired violence, including a recent attack on a gay bar in Colorado that killed five people and injured 18.

Gendron, who was 18 at the time of the shooting, drove about three hours to Buffalo from his home near Binghamton, New York, with the explicit goal of seeking an area with a large black population. He was wearing a bulletproof vest and recorded the attack with a camera.

Gendron also said he was motivated to carry out the shooting based on the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory, a white supremacist belief that white people are being “replaced” by people of color.

“I think the evidence was overwhelming. You couldn’t hide that,” Flynn, the district attorney, said during Monday’s news conference. “This is not a surprise.”

Flynn also noted that Gendron forgave and apologized to a white client during the attack.

Gendron previously pleaded not guilty in June to separate federal hate crime charges that could result in a death sentence if convicted. The US Department of Justice has not said whether he will seek the death penalty.

Flynn noted that pleading guilty to state charges did not mean Gendron would automatically be found guilty to federal charges. “That process will run its course,” he said. “From a technical point of view, that matter is still progressing.”

The shooting caused grief in Buffalo’s large black community and debate ensued over the future of the supermarket. Some residents wanted it closed or turned into a memorial space for the victims, while others wanted it to remain open.

The market is located in a predominantly black area of ​​the city that suffers from high levels of poverty and struggled for years to get a grocery store.

The market reopened in July, with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown saying at the time that the American city would not “let hate win.”

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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