NEW YORK, June 2 — The white teenager accused of gunning down 10 Black people during a racist rampage at a supermarket in New York state was charged with domestic terrorism on Wednesday.
Payton Gendron, 18, was also slapped with ten counts of first-degree murder, a filing on the New York state court system website showed.
The 25-count indictment says Gendron was motivated by hate when he allegedly killed ten people and wounded three others during the mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo last month.
The other charges filed by the grand jury include attempted murder and weapons possession.
Gendron will be arraigned in Erie County Court on the charges on Thursday at 2:00pm (1800 GMT), a spokesperson for the prosecutor told AFP.
He had earlier pleaded not guilty to a single count of first-degree murder.
Gendron now faces murder charges for each of the ten victims, who ranged in age from 32 to 86.
New York’s domestic act of terrorism charge, which came into force in 2020, carries a life sentence.
Federal authorities are also reportedly considering filing hate crime charges against Gendron.
The self-declared white supremacist apparently planned his assault for months, targeting the grocery store because of its large surrounding African American population.
Wearing heavy body armour and wielding an AR-15 assault rifle, he allegedly livestreamed his attack online.
The May 14 shooting, and the Uvalde elementary school massacre ten days later that killed 19 children and two teachers, renewed calls for gun control in America. — AFP