The white suspect accused of killing 10 Black shoppers and employees at a Buffalo supermarket pleaded guilty on Monday to murder and hate-motivated terrorism charges.
Payton Gendron, 19, pleaded guilty to all charges, which guarantees he will spend the rest of his life in prison, according to The Associated Press.
Gendron was charged with 10 counts of murder, 10 counts of second-degree murder, 10 counts of second-degree murder as a hate crime and hate-motivated domestic terrorism, which carries an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole, The New York Times reported. Gendron also pleaded guilty to injuring three survivors of the shooting.
Gendron was armed with an AR-15 style rifle on May 14 when he went into the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, and used a camera mounted on a helmet to livestream as he shot store employees and shoppers, the AP reported. Gendron said at the time that he was motivated by a belief in a conspiracy to dilute the “power of white people” by “replacing” them in the United States with people of color.
Gendron was the first person to be charged with domestic terrorism motivated by hate, under a 2020 statute implemented after a 2019 shooting targeting Latinos in El Paso, Texas, ABC News reported.
Gendron faces federal hate crimes and weapons charges, some of which could potentially carry the death penalty, The New York Times reported. The Department of Justice has not announced whether it will seek the death penalty in the case.
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