Buffalo shooting suspect to face murder, hate crime charges, NY Times reports By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Buffalo shooting suspect, Payton S. Gendron, appears in court accused of killing 10 people in a live-streamed supermarket shooting in a Black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, U.S., May 19, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – The 18-year-old man accused of gunning down 10 Black residents in a Buffalo, New York supermarket, opening fire out of racial animus, has been charged in an indictment on 25 counts of murder and domestic terrorism, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Payton Gendron, who was taken into custody following the May 14 shooting rampage, was scheduled to appear in an Erie County courtroom on Thursday afternoon, the Times reported, citing the district attorney, John Flynn.

A district attorney’s office spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters that an indictment had been handed down against Gendron and said he would be making a court appearance on Thursday. The spokeswoman, who did not give her name, declined to comment on specific charges.

The Times reported that the indictment charges Gendron with first- and second-degree murder as hate crimes and three counts of attempted murder, along with other charges.

Prosecutors say Gendron was targeting Black people when he shot 13 people at a Tops Friendly Market store with a semi-automatic, assault-style rifle.

Authorities said the gunman broadcast video of the attack to a social media platform in real time. He is accused of posting white supremacist material online.

The deadly rampage marked the latest in a series of mass shootings across the United States, many of them carried out by young men using semi-automatic, assault-style weapons.

On May 24 an 18-year-old man opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 students and two teachers.

The shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde have re-ignited a fierce debate between advocates of tighter gun controls and those who oppose any legislation that could compromise the U.S. Constitutional right of Americans to bear arms.

U.S. President Joe Biden, has joined fellow Democrats in calling for new gun restrictions, such as a ban on assault-style weapons and universal background checks for firearms purchases.

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