Federal criminal complaint details 26 counts against accused Tops shooter
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Federal charges are being filed against the 18-year-old accused of fatally shooting 10 people at the Tops store on Jefferson Avenue.
The U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York has filed a 26-count criminal complaint against Payton Gendron. Here are the charges:
- hate crime resulting in death (10 counts)
- hate crime involving bodily injury and attempt to kill (3 counts)
- use of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence (10 counts)
- use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence (3 counts)
If convicted of the federal charge of use of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence, the alleged shooter could face the death penalty.
In the criminal complaint, federal officials allege that his motive was to “prevent Black people from replacing white people and eliminating the white race, and to inspire others to commit similar attacks.”
“After Gendron killed Victim 7, he turned and aimed his rifle at a white male Tops employee (“Victim 8″), who, at some point during the attack, had been shot in the leg and injured. Rather than shooting him, Gendron said, ‘Sorry,’ to Victim 8, before moving on through the rest of the store in search of more Black people to shoot and kill,” the complaint read.
Previously, the accused shooter was already indicted on 25 other counts:
- Domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate in the first degree
- Murder in the first degree (10 counts)
- Murder in the second degree, as a hate crime (10 counts)
- Attempted murder in the second degree, as a hate crime (3 counts)
- Criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, an armed felony
No one in New York had ever previously been indicted on a charge of domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate in the first degree. That indictment can be read here.
On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is in Buffalo to pay respects at the site of the mass shooting on Buffalo’s east side. He and U.S. Attorney Trini Ross will be meeting with the families of the victims, as well.