Teen Accused of Mass Murder in Buffalo, N.Y. Must Return to Court

An FBI member searches for evidence at the scene of a weekend shooting at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York, U.S. May 18, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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BUFFALO, NY, May 19 (Reuters) – The teenager accused of killing 10 people in a live-streamed supermarket shooting in a black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, was due to appear in court on Thursday in a case that sparked a national conversation about the toxic mix of guns, hate and the internet.

Payton Gendron, 18, who is white, was initially indicted on a single count of first-degree murder hours after police said he opened fire Saturday afternoon at a Tops Friendly Markets with an assault rifle. Semiautomatic.

He pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail.

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Thirteen people were shot, most of them black, and 11 of the victims died, before the shooter surrendered to police who confronted him inside the grocery store.

The FBI immediately said it was investigating the rampage as a hate crime and an act of “racially motivated violent extremism,” and authorities pointed to a suspected white supremacist manifesto he posted online before the shooting.

Gendron, from the small town of Conklin in southern New York near the Pennsylvania border, was scheduled to appear Thursday morning for a second court proceeding in Erie County, known as a felony hearing.

It was not clear if he would face additional state charges immediately. First-degree murder in New York State carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.

President Joe Biden, in a visit to Buffalo on Tuesday, condemned white nationalists as well as the online platforms, media outlets and political rhetoric he criticized for spreading racist conspiracy theories. read more

“What happened here is simple and straightforward: terrorism, terrorism, domestic terrorism,” Biden said.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday opened an investigation into various social media platforms she says the Buffalo grocery store shooter used to plan, promote and broadcast the attack.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced additional measures aimed at curbing domestic terrorism, including legislation to toughen New York’s gun laws and a directive for state police to exercise their authority to disarm people deemed a public threat under gun law. red state flag

He accused social networking sites of allowing violent extremism to flourish, saying the Buffalo shooting reflected an intersection between “the mainstreaming of hate speech … and easy access to military-style weapons.”

Gendron is accused of having a webcast video of the attack he was committing in real time on Twitch, a live video platform owned by Amazon.com (AMZN.O).

While Twitch said it removed the video within two minutes, screenshots of the stream circulated on social media throughout the day. And footage from the live broadcast can still be found on the internet on Wednesday morning.

Authorities said the suspect is also believed to have posted a lengthy racist speech online describing the “great replacement theory,” the idea that minorities are replacing whites in the United States and other countries, as well as a list verification and a diary of your attack. preparations.

Buffalo police said Gendron first came to the attention of local police nearly a year before the Buffalo shooting, when police detained him after he made a threat at his high school, and that he was released after a test. of mental health.

Hochul said the murder weapon was purchased legally but was modified with a high-capacity magazine that is banned in New York.

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Reporting from Tyler Clifford in Buffalo, New York; Additional writing and reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Edited by Bradley Perrett

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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