New York – The young white man accused of killing 10 black people in a Buffalo supermarket appeared briefly in court Thursday to hear a grand jury’s indictment of aggravated murder.
Prosecutor Gary Hackbush reported that the jury returned the indictment to Payton Gendron, 18, to the court on Wednesday.
Gendron, who was wearing orange prison uniforms and a face mask, remained silent throughout the hearing and returned to jail. Someone yelled at him, “Payton, you’re a coward!” as he walked out flanked by guards.RELATED
Gendron broadcast the attack live to an online platform via a camera attached to his helmet, before turning himself in to police outside the grocery store. Shortly before last Saturday’s attack, he posted hundreds of written pages to online discussion groups in which he detailed his plans for the assault and his racist motivation.
Documents examined by investigators include a personal diary he kept on the Discord chat platform.
The 18-year-old white teenager was wearing military gear and broadcast live on the Internet with a camera on his helmet. (Matt Rourke)
Authorities identified the shooter as 18-year-old Payton Gendron. (Mark Mulville)
Authorities described the attack as “racially motivated violent extremism.” (M att Rourke)
The teen shot 11 black people and two white people before turning himself in to officers. (Joshua Bessex)
The massacre sent shock waves through a country wracked by racial tensions, gun violence and a string of hate crimes. (Joshua Bessex)
The events in Buffalo came just a month after another attack left 10 people injured on a Brooklyn subway train. (Joshua Bessex)
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown takes a moment of silence and prayer for the victims of the shooting. (Joshua Bessex)
The assailant shot four people outside the establishment, three of whom died. (The Associated Press)
The assailant wore a bulletproof vest and military-style clothing during the attack at Tops Friendly Market. (Mark Mulville)
Inside the store, a security guard fired several shots, but a bullet that hit the attacker’s bulletproof vest had no effect. (Matt Rourke)
Police entered the establishment and confronted the assailant in the lobby. (Joshua Bessex)
Authorities blocked traffic around the supermarket in Buffalo. (Derek Gee)
Twitch said in a statement that it cut off Gendron’s stream “less than two minutes after his act of violence began.” (Joshua Bessex)
The rifle Gendron used was purchased legally, but the magazines he put in the gun were not allowed for sale in New York. (Matt Rourke)
President Joe Biden said in a statement that he and the former were praying for the victims and their families. (Joshua Bessex)
At his initial appearance, Gendron’s public defender entered a “not guilty” plea on behalf of his client.
The massacre at Tops supermarket shocked a nation accustomed to massacres. All but two of the 13 people shot were black. In his online writings, Gendron said he planned the assault because of his attraction to white supremacist ideology he learned about online.
The diary says Gendron planned his attack in secret, without outside help, but Discord confirmed Wednesday that about 30 minutes before the assault he sent an invitation to a small group of people so they could access his intimate writings.
Some accepted the invitation. It was not clear how many read the writings or logged in to watch the assault live. It was also unclear if anyone tried to alert police.
Buffalo Police Chief Joseph Gramaglia has said investigators were trying to obtain, verify and review writings posted by Gendron on the Internet.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul authorized Attorney General Letitia James to investigate the social media platforms used by Gendron to determine whether they should be charged with “providing a platform to plan and promote violence.”