Topline

A white gunman charged with killing 10 Black people in a racially-motivated mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store pleaded not guilty to federal hate crimes in New York federal court Monday, but defense attorneys say they hope to resolve the case without going to trial.

Key Facts

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Payton Gendron, 19, was indicted by a federal grand jury last week on 27 firearms and hate crimes counts, including 10 counts of hate crimes resulting in deaths—a set of charges that carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment or the death penalty, according to to the US Department of Justice,

Gendron’s attorneys said in court they hope to have the case resolved before trial, according to the Associated Press, but they didn’t offer any further details,

He was also charged in New York state court with murder, attempted murder and domestic terrorism motivated by hate—to which he also pleaded not guilty.

Key Background

Prosecutors allege Gendron drove from his house outside Binghamton, New York—three hours southeast of Buffalo—to the Tops grocery store on May 14 and opened fire on shoppers and employees with a Bushmaster XM semi-automatic rifle, while wearing body armor and camouflage clothing . Police later recovered a loaded shotgun, rifle and ammunition in his car, and found an extensive arsenal at his home that prospectors seek to have forfeited. In a criminal complaint, federal prosecutors said Gendron targeted the grocery store in the predominantly Black neighborhood to "prevent Black people from replacing white people and eliminating the white race," and to "inspire others to commit similar attacks." Gendron also allegedly livestreamed the shooting on a helmet camera, and posted a 180-page racist diatribe online theorizing Black people were “replacers” of white people. The shooting sparked outrage in Buffalo and across the country, for action on gun control and racial justice against white supremacy. President Joe Biden visited Buffalo shortly after the shooting and said, "hate will not prevail."

What To Watch For

If Gendron is found guilty, the Attorney General will decide later whether or not to pursue the federal death penalty at a later time, the Department of Justice stated.

Tangent

The Tops grocery store in Buffalo's East Side reopened Friday, over two months after the shooting. Security features and a memorial for the shooting victims were installed as part of a complete renovation, according to CNN.

Buffalo Shooting Suspect Payton Gendron Indicted On 27 Federal Charges—Including Hate Crimes And Weapons (Forbes)

Buffalo Supermarket Shooting Suspect Charged With Federal Hate Crimes And Firearms Offenses (Forbes)

Buffalo Shooting Suspect Made 'Generalized Threat' At School Last Year, Police Say (Forbes)