Friday, February 3, 2023

Suspect in Buffalo supermarket shooting planning to plead guilty, lawyers say

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(The Hill) — The suspect accused of killing 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket in May will plead guilty to state charges Monday, an attorney for the victims said.

Terrence Connors, who represents the families of the victims, said Payton Gendron, 19, plans to plead guilty to the indictment, which comprises 25 counts, including murder, murder as a hate crime and domestic terrorism motivated by hate.

The suspect is accused of driving about three hours from his home to a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo and killing 10 and injuring three others at the Tops supermarket.

The domestic terrorism motivated by hate charge carries an automatic life sentence without parole.

Authorities have revealed that the suspect invited people to a chatroom just before the shooting, with his private server allegedly including racist content and plans for the shooting dating back six months.

He has reportedly touted the so-called “great replacement theory,” a far-right conspiracy alleging a push to replace white Americans with people of color.

A federal grand jury in July indicted the suspect on 14 federal hate crime charges and 13 federal firearms charges.

The shooting, along with a massacre days later at an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school, again sparked calls for gun control, leading lawmakers to pass a bipartisan gun bill in the summer.

The bill enhanced background checks for those under the age of 21, cracked down on ghost gun purchases and provided incentives for states to implement red flag laws, among other provisions.

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