We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.


Buffalo supermarket shooting accused pleads not guilty to hate crime charges

Nineteen-year-old Payton Gendron appeared in court in connection with an attack at Tops Friendly Supermarket in May this year.

A WHITE MAN charged with killing 10 black people in a mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket has pleaded not guilty to federal hate crime charges that could be punishable by the death penalty.

Payton Gendron was indicted last week on hate crimes and weapons counts.

The plea was entered in court by Gendron’s lawyer, who said she hoped to resolve the case before trial.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit and shackles, Gendron was silent during the brief hearing.

The 27-count federal indictment contains special findings, including that Gendron engaged in substantial planning to commit an act of terrorism and took aim at vulnerable older people — specifically 86-year-old Ruth Whitfield, 77-year-old Pearl Young, 72-year-old Katherine Massey, 67-year-old Heyward Patterson and 65-year-old Celestine Chaney.

Gendron was arrested outside the entrance of Tops Friendly Supermarket on May 14 following the attack, in which three people were also wounded.

The supermarket reopened to the public last week, two months after the shooting.

Investigators say the gunman drove for more than three hours from his home in Conklin, New York, to a busy supermarket chosen for its location in a predominantly black neighbourhood, with the intent of killing as many black people as possible.

They said he was motivated by white supremacist beliefs which he described in online diary entries.

Gendron wrote in November about staging a livestreamed attack, practised shooting from his car and did reconnaissance on the shop two months before carrying out the plans, according to the entries.

The indictment seeks the forfeiture of an extensive arsenal said to have been recovered from Gendron’s car and home.

The federal indictment charges Gendron with 10 counts of hate crimes resulting in death, three counts of hate crimes involving an attempt to kill three people and another hate crime count alleging Gendron tried to kill other black people in and around the shop. It also includes 13 counts of using a firearm in a hate crime.

Gendron also faces a parallel state prosecution on charges including hate-motivated domestic terrorism, murder and attempted murder as a hate crime. The domestic terrorism hate crime charge carries an automatic life sentence. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges as well.

Press Association