The gunman who killed 10 Black people during a racially charged mass shooting at a Buffalo, New York supermarket pleaded guilty to all state charges against him on Monday. He now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Payton Gendron, 19, pleaded guilty to 15 counts, including murder and domestic terrorism charges. Gendron had previously admitted to shooting 13 people at a Tops Friendly Market this past May, in a store located in a predominantly Black area of Buffalo. He was originally indicted by a grand jury on 25 counts relating to the massacre.
The state charges included 10 counts of first-degree murder, 10 counts of second-degree murder, and a hate crime-related domestic terrorism charge. Two victims' relatives previously told The New York Times that Gendron had been expected to plead guilty.
In addition to the state charges, Gendron still faces a number of federal hate crimes and weapons charges. If found guilty, Gendron could be facing the death penalty in regard to some of these charges.
Gendron's attack made headlines around the world for its targeting of Black people. Notably, Gendron had described his plans for the racist attack in a number of online writings, and has described himself as a staunch white supremacist. The Associated Press reported that Gendron answered "yes" when the judge asked if he had killed his victims because they were Black.
The shooting, along with the Uvalde, Texas school massacre, reignited calls for firearms reform across the country.
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