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A handout photo from the Erie County, New York, district attorney’s office shows 18-year-old Payton Gendron, suspect in the mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

A handout photo from the Erie County, New York, district attorney’s office shows 18-year-old Payton Gendron, suspect in the mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday, May 14, 2022. (Erie County DA)

(Tribune News Service) — The 18-year-old accused of killing 10 people at a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York, was indicted for murder by a grand jury during a brief court appearance on Thursday.

Payton Gendron, who is white, specifically targeted Black people in a predominantly Black neighborhood, according to material he allegedly posted online.

“Payton, you’re a coward!” someone yelled from the courtroom gallery. Gendron is being held in jail without bail. His next court appearance will be on June 19.

Gendron allegedly drove hours from Conklin, New York, to the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo Saturday afternoon and opened fire, shooting 13 people and killing 10 of them. Of the 13 victims, 11 were Black.

“This was pure evil,” Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said, calling the massacre a “straight-up racially motivated hate crime from somebody outside of our community.”

In a 180-page manifesto in Gendron’s name, he wrote that he targeted Buffalo because it “had the “highest Black percentage that is close enough to where I live.” He also allegedly had the N-word painted on the barrel of his modified assault weapon.

“We have uncovered information that if he escaped the supermarket, he had plans to continue his attack,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia told ABC News on Monday. “He had plans to continue driving down Jefferson Ave. to shoot more Black people ... possibly go to another store (or) location.”

Instead, Gendron was talked out of shooting himself at the grocery store Saturday and was taken into custody. He pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder Saturday night and is being held without bail.

The Department of Justice is investigating the shooting as a “hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism.” Gendron, allegedly describing himself as a fascist, a white supremacist and an antisemite, wrote fondly of Christchurch shooter Brenton Tarrant, who murdered 51 people at two New Zealand mosques in 2019; Dylann Roof, who killed nine Black people at a church in South Carolina in 2015; and Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011.

Even before Saturday, Gendron was allegedly doing reconnaissance in the area.

A manager at Tops told the Daily News Sunday that she saw Gendron lurking around the store on Friday, a day before the shooting.

“He was acting like he was homeless and needed change,” Shonnell Teague told The News. “He really was checking out the store.” In a nearly 600-page document, again allegedly written by Gendron and obtained by The Washington Post, the shooting suspect encountered a security guard outside the grocery store in March, and told the employee he was “collecting consensus data.”

“In hindsight that was a close call,” Gendron allegedly wrote.

Sprinkled throughout both documents was repeated talk of the Great Replacement Theory, a racist conspiracy theory that white people are being systematically wiped out.

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©2022 New York Daily News. Visit at nydailynews.com.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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