TOP STORIES Buffalo shooting suspect says his motive was to prevent...

Buffalo shooting suspect says his motive was to prevent ‘destruction of the white race’

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Attorney General Merrick Garland. visits the Tops Friendly Market grocery store in Buffalo, NY on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at the site of a mass shooting in May that killed 10 black people.

Caroline Thompson/AP


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Caroline Thompson/AP

Attorney General Merrick Garland. visits the Tops Friendly Market grocery store in Buffalo, NY on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at the site of a May mass shooting that killed 10 black people.

Caroline Thompson/AP

BUFFALO, New York. The white man who killed 10 blacks in a Buffalo supermarket first appeared in federal court on hate crime charges on Thursday, and the judge urged prosecutors to decide quickly whether the death penalty should be applied given the “substantial” cost of killing. those cases.

In a brief trial, Presiding Magistrate H. Kenneth Schroeder argued that Payton Gendron was entitled to be represented by public defenders based on his financial situation. Responding to a series of questions from the judge, mostly with yes or no answers, Gendron said he had been out of work for a year, had $16 in a bank account, had no car, and had two Disney shares.

Gendron has been held without bail since his arrest shortly after the May 14 attack on a Tops Friendly supermarket, which also injured three people.

He appeared in U.S. District Court in a criminal suit charging him with 10 counts of hate crimes resulting in death and using a firearm to commit murder. The complaint also includes three counts of hate crimes each, including bodily harm and attempted murder, and the use of a firearm in violent crimes.

Gendron was dressed in an orange jumpsuit, shackles, and a black mask covering a scruffy beard. He leaned forward slightly in his chair, his head bowed as the judge read out the accusations.

No statements were made during the trial.

“It’s hard to be here. It’s hard to be in a courtroom with a terrorist,” said Zeneta Everhart, one of about two dozen relatives of the victims who were present in the courtroom. “It’s hard to see the person who tried to kill my son sitting in the same space as him.”

Everhart’s 21-year-old son, Zaire Goodman, a Tops employee, was shot in the neck while helping a customer in a parking lot, but survived.

She called being in court “part of my healing process.”

Gendron’s parents were not in the courtroom.

Attorney General Merrick Garland is holding a press conference on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York.

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Attorney General Merrick Garland is holding a press conference on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York.

AP

Attorney General Merrick Garland, who met with the families of the victims in Buffalo on Wednesday, did not rule out seeking the death penalty for Gendron.

Calling on prosecutors to decide quickly on the death penalty, Schroeder noted that such cases usually require expert testimony from psychiatrists and medical examiners.

U.S. Attorney Joseph Tripi said the next step in the process is an indictment. At that point, the attorney general will make the “only decision” on whether to seek the death penalty.

“I’m a Christian, I don’t wish death on anyone,” Geraldine Talley, the 62-year-old victim’s niece, said after the hearing, “but here I have to work with this because I’d rather see him dead.”

Niece Tamika Harper vowed to attend every court hearing “for my aunt and the other nine victims.”

“I’m angry, very, very angry,” said Harper, who wore pins with photos of the victims on her top. “He showed no remorse.”

The federal hate crime case is based in part on documents in which Gendron detailed his attack plans, including the semi-automatic rifle he would use, the clothing and body armor he would wear, and a portable camera that would allow him to livestream the massacre. broadcast. in the Internet.

The letters included “statements that his motivation for the attack was to prevent blacks from replacing whites and destroying the white race, and to inspire others to carry out similar racially motivated attacks,” the complaint said.

Gendron had already faced a mandatory life sentence without parole if convicted of previous charges, including domestic terrorism and hate-motivated murder. He pleaded not guilty.

His state attorney declined to comment on the federal allegations.

Gendron traveled over 200 miles (320 kilometers) from his home in Conklin to the predominantly black part of Buffalo. There, according to authorities, he fired about 60 shots at shoppers and workers.

The complaint details his path through the aisles of the store looking for victims as customers and employees fled to take shelter in the storage room, conference room, freezer and dairy cooler.

Gendron surrendered to the police at the exit of the supermarket.

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