Suspect in Buffalo supermarket shooting pleads guilty


(The Hill) — The suspect accused of killing 10 people at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket in May has pleaded guilty to murder and hate-motivated terrorism charges. 

Payton Gendron, 19, who was indicted on 25 counts, including murder, murder as a hate crime and domestic terrorism motivated by hate, entered the plea Monday in a courthouse roughly two miles from the Tops supermarket where he is accused of using a semiautomatic rifle and body armor to carry out a racist assault he hoped would help preserve white power in the U.S.

Gendron is accused of driving about three hours from his home to a predominantly Black neighborhood and killing 10 and injuring three others at the grocery store.

The domestic terrorism motivated by hate charge carries an automatic life sentence without parole.

Authorities have revealed that the suspect invited people to a chatroom just before the shooting, with his private server allegedly including racist content and plans for the shooting dating back six months.

He has reportedly touted the so-called “great replacement theory,” a far-right conspiracy alleging a push to replace white Americans with people of color.

A federal grand jury in July indicted the suspect on 14 federal hate crime charges and 13 federal firearms charges.

The shooting, along with a massacre days later at an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school, again sparked calls for gun control, leading lawmakers to pass a bipartisan gun bill in the summer.

The bill enhanced background checks for those under the age of 21, cracked down on ghost gun purchases and provided incentives for states to implement red flag laws, among other provisions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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