Buffalo mass shooter Payton Gendron, 18, who killed 10 Black people in May, has been charged with 26 hate-crime counts and a firearm offense, The Washington Post reports. If convicted, he faces the death penalty.
The charges against the White suspect were announced as Attorney General Merrick Garland visited the shooting site and spoke with the families of the victims.
“No one in this country should have to live in fear that they will go to work or shop at a grocery store and will be attacked by someone who hates them because of the color of their skin,” Garland said after meeting with family members.
According to the Associated Press, these allegations stem in part from documents in which Gentron outlined his plan.
Ten counts of a hate crime resulting in death, three counts of a hate crime causing bodily injury, and ten counts of using a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a violent crime are among the charges. A grand jury in New York had previously indicted the alleged shooter on 25 counts.
If convicted, the three counts of use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a violent crime will result in the death penalty.
Garland has put a halt to federal executions as the department reviews policies and procedures, CNN reports.
“The Justice Department has a series of procedures it follows,” Garland said when asked if the DOJ would pursue the death penalty if the suspect was found guilty. adding that the survivors and their families would be consulted.”