Tops Friendly Markets in Buffalo, New York is a place that will not soon be forgotten. On May 14, accused gunman Payton Gendron reportedly killed 10 Black people in the grocery store. Sources say the suspect traveled over 200 miles from his hometown of Conklin, New York to Buffalo to find an area with a high concentration of Black people to gun down. Yesterday (July 14), Gendron was indicted on 27 counts.
According to local Buffalo news station WIVB 4, his charges include 13 counts of using, carrying or discharging a firearm in relation to the hate crimes and 10 counts of hate crimes resulting in death. He also received three counts of hate crimes involving an attempt to kill injured individuals and one count of hate crimes alleging he tried to kill more Black people in and around the Tops store. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland spoke in court, saying, “Today, a grand jury has indicted Payton Gendron with hate crime and firearms offenses following the horrific attack on the Black community of Buffalo that killed 10 people and injured three others on May 14, 2022.”
The attorney general continued, “The Justice Department fully recognizes the threat that white supremacist violence poses to the safety of the American people and American democracy. 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.” If convicted, the accused gunman faces life in prison. He could also receive the death penalty for his crimes.
Today (July 15), two months after the massacre, the grocery store will reopen. Since the shooting, the Tops location has received several important updates like a new surveillance camera system, an emergency evacuation alarm system and an additional emergency exit. Former Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield spoke with CNN about the reopening. “I think there will be people who don’t want to go there and will never go there again,” Whitfield said. “But convenience and necessity take over and that store will be a viable part of that community,” he added.