/  06.01.2022

The suspected gunman in the Saturday night (May 14) massacre that claimed the lives of 10 people has been indicted by a grand jury on 25 counts of charges, including domestic terrorism and murder as a hate crime, The Washington Post reports.

According to police, the suspected attacker surrendered to authorities and was charged with murder. An investigation revealed that prior to the attack, he posted a rambling, racist 180-page document online where he declared himself as a white supremacist, called his planned act terrorism, and even expressed a desire to use the incident to incite more violence.

On May 14, Payton Gendron entered a Tops Friendly Market store located in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo and opened fire killing 10 people and leaving three wounded. Most of the victims were Black.

In August 2019, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed the domestic terrorism hate crime following a mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas Walmart that targeted Mexicans. It is known as the “Josef Neumann Hate Crimes Domestic Terrorism Act” and took effect on Nov. 1, 2020.

If convicted of the domestic terrorism charge – which accuses the gunman of killing “because of the perceived race and/or color” of his victims” – Gendron faces an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole.

Just 10 days after the Buffalo shooting, another suspected gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas and killed 19 students and two teachers before he was shot and killed by responding law enforcement officers. Both incidents have resurfaced the nation’s debate on gun control.

Murder charges have been filed for each of the victims whose ages range from 32 and 86. Gendron has pleaded not guilty to all 25 charges.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Thursday afternoon (June 2).

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