Buffalo Mass Shooting Suspect Charged With First-Degree Murder

  • A suspect in the Buffalo mass shooting was charged with first-degree murder on Saturday.
  • The teen pleaded not guilty in the attack, which police said was racially motivated.
  • Of the 13 people shot, 11 were Black and two were white, police said.

A 18-year old white man has been charged with first-degree murder in connection to a mass shooting at a Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York, that police said was racially motivated and left 10 people dead on Saturday.

The suspect, who has been identified as Payton Gendron of Conklin, New York, was arraigned in Buffalo City Court Saturday evening. He pleaded not guilty.

Gendron is being held in jail without bail and is due to appear at a felony hearing in five days, according to Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.

“We have taken the appropriate steps right now to get him behind bars,” Flynn said at a press conference, adding that a first-degree murder conviction could result in life in prison without parole.

Gendron appeared before the court in a mask and handcuffs, according to images shared on social media by reporters present.

FBI officials said during a press conference earlier in the day the attack was being investigated as a hate crime and an instance of “racially motivated violent extremism.”

Police said the suspect arrived in heavy tactical gear at the Tops grocery store at around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday before opening fire in the parking lot and then inside the store.

The suspect was confronted by a security guard who was a former police officer, but the guard’s bullets did not penetrate the suspect’s armor, police said. The security guard was killed in the attack.

The suspect was holding his gun to his neck when police engaged him and convinced him to lower his weapon, remove his tactical gear, and surrender, authorities said.

Officials said the suspect used a camera attached to his tactical helmet to livestream the attack.

Ten people died and three were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Of the 13 people that were shot, 11 were Black and two were white.

A manifesto belonging to the suspect outlined plans to kill Black people and referenced replacement theory, a conspiracy theory popular with white supremacists, a federal official confirmed to The New York Times.

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