Buffalo shooter indicted on federal hate crimes charges

The gunman accused of killing 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket in May was indicted Thursday of dozens of charges, including 10 counts of hate crimes resulting in death, the Justice Department said in a statement.

The big picture: Payton Gendron, 19, is accused of killing 10 people and injuring three at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York on May 14.

  • In what the FBI called “an act of racially motivated violent extremism,” Gendron, who is white, drove more than 200 miles from Conklin, New York to allegedly commit the attack in a predominantly Black neighborhood. Eleven of the 13 people shot were Black.

Driving the news: Gendron was indicted on 27 total charges — 14 hate crimes charges and 13 firearms charges, according to the Justice Department.

  • The indictment alleges that Gendron, who was 18 years old at the time, “committed the offense after substantial planning and premeditation to commit an act of terrorism.”

What they’re saying: “The Justice Department fully recognizes the threat that white supremacist violence poses to the safety of the American people and American democracy,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “We will continue to be relentless in our efforts to combat hate crimes, to support the communities terrorized by them, and to hold accountable those who perpetrate them.”

What’s next: The charges carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment or the death penalty. Garland will decide whether to pursue the death penalty at a later time, the Justice Department said.

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