A grand jury on Wednesday charged the White 18-year-old accused of fatally shooting 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket with domestic terrorism motivated by hate and 10 counts of first-degree murder. Payton Gendron, who has been in custody since the May 14 shooting, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Erie County Court.
The 25-count indictment also contains charges of murder and attempted murder as a hate crime and weapons possession.
The suspect had previously been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting, which also injured three people. He has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors told a judge May 20 the grand jury had voted to indict the suspect but was continuing its investigation.
The charge, Domestic Acts of Terrorism Motivated by Hate in the First Degree, is punishable with a sentence of life imprisonment without parole.
Murder charges were filed for each of the victims, who ranged in age from 32 to 86 and included eight shoppers, the store security guard and a church deacon who drove shoppers to and from the store with their groceries.
The gunman, carrying an AR-15-style rifle he had recently purchased, opened fire on Saturday afternoon shoppers at the only supermarket in the predominantly Black neighborhood.
The shooting, followed 10 days later by a mass shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers inside a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school, has renewed a national debate about gun control and violent extremism.