Accused killer in Buffalo mass shooting expected to plead guilty in racist attack


The 19-year-old man accused of a white supremacist attack that killed 10 people inside a Buffalo supermarket in May is expected to plead guilty in State Supreme Court Monday morning.

Payton Gendron is slated to appear before Judge Susan Eagan at 9:30 a.m. for the plea, according to Lucian Chalfen, a spokesperson for New York’s state court system. An earlier court date was adjourned due to historic snowfall last week.

The mass shooting at the Tops Friendly Market — one of the few supermarkets in the predominantly Black neighborhood — sent shock waves across the nation, after investigators revealed Gendron traveled several hours from his home to deliberately target the busy Buffalo store. He wore tactical gear while opening fire with a legally purchased AR-15, and livestreamed the attack on Twitch.

Attorney John Elmore, who is representing the families of several victims, previously told WBFO he expected Gendron to plead guilty to all 25 felony counts on the indictment and waive his right to appeal. In June, Gendron was indicted on more than two dozen felony counts including murder, attempted murder and a count of domestic terrorism motivated by hate.

Gendron has been detained in the custody of the Erie County Sheriff’s office since the May 14 attack.

An online manifesto that was later connected to Gendron spewed racist, anti-semitic and anti-immigrant views; discussed white supremacist replacement theory; and described the selection of Tops market zip code with a majority of Black residents.

In addition to the state charges, Gendron faces 27 federal counts including hate crimes charges, which carry a maximum penalty of life in prison or the death penalty, according to federal prosecutors.

Among the victims of the attack were a civil rights and education advocate, the mother of the city’s retired fire commissioner, the store’s security guard who tried to fend off the attacker, a neighborhood jitney driver, a grandmother and a school bus aide, the Buffalo News reported. Three other people were shot but survived the attack.

Gendron and his attorneys decided not to pursue a psychiatric defense last month.

Gendron’s lawyer couldn’t be reached for comment immediately.


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