The race fueled massacre of 10 Black Americans occurred not too long ago on May 14, 2022.
The mass shooter, Payton Gendron, was only 18 years old at the time of his shooting. Payton is a white male who catalogued his hate for Black Americans and spewed racist extremist comments online. Confirmed by police, his shooting at Buffalo was in fact race-fueled and now, the courts have agreed.
A Federal Hate Crime is a special statute added to existing crimes when the actions meet the definition of a hate crime. A hate crime is a sort of special circumstance, meaning that it must meet guidelines of a crime induced and committed by hate. The mens rea and motive to commit the crime must be driven by an ideology that falls under hate crimes. Racism is one of those ideologies.
Payton has been charged with 26 counts of hate crimes and firearms offenses according to the NY Post. Some of those charges have maximum sentencing of the death penalty.
The US Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke out after the massacre and stated that he would be investigating the shooting as a hate crime that was fueled by violent extremism. Garland went to the scene of the crime on June 15 where he gave news about the charges and also psoke to the families of the victims. Garland also laid flowers at the memorial that was made just outside the Tops Grocery Store in Buffalo.
Payton Garland is a vowed white supremacist and is now facing up to life in prison, with no parole due to the hate crimes statute. Payton killed 10 people, injured 3, and left many more families and witnesses scarred for life.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden also went to the grocery store where the shooting occurred on May 17. Payton posted his near 200 page manifesto on the internet not long before he carried out his attack. Hi had a clear motive and stated that the mass shooting was to "prevent Black people from replacing white people and eliminating the white race, and to inspire others to commit similar attacks," [NY Post, from Gendron's Manifesto].
Also in his manifesto post were the details of his attack and his plans. He had been planning for months to target that specific supermarket. He also researched where the highest demographic of Black people lived. After the shooting, Gendron surrendered to the police at the scene where he was apprehended.
Gendron's manifesto also stated that he believed America only belongs to white people, that everyone else were replacers. He aimed to intimidate non-white, non-Christian people and make them leave the country. Gendron lived in Conklin, NY, and drove nearly 200 miles in order to commit his crime. Payton Gendron used an AR-15 rifle to gun down any shopper in sight. He pleaded not guilty to the initial domestic terrorism charge.