The 18-year-old suspect in the Buffalo, New York, grocery store mass shooting last weekend was formally charged with first-degree murder during a brief court appearance Thursday.
Payton Gendron was escorted into the courtroom flanked by police officers, wearing an orange jumpsuit and a white face mask. He was handcuffed and shackled. He remained silent throughout the one-minute proceeding attended by some relatives of the victims.
Assistant District Attorney Gary Hackbush presented the indictment, which was handed down on Wednesday. In New York, prosecutors can charge a defendant with first-degree murder only under special circumstances, including when multiple people are killed in a single incident, like in the Buffalo shooting. The single count against Gendron covers all 10 deaths at the supermarket.
Gendron was ordered held in custody without bail for further action from a grand jury and is next expected in court on June 9. Gendron’s attorney, Brian Parker, had no comment.
As he was led from the courtroom, someone in the audience shouted “Payton, you’re a coward!”
Gendron is charged with killing 10 people and wounding three others last Saturday at a grocery store in a predominantly Black neighborhood. Eleven of the victims who were shot were Black.
The FBI is investigating the attack as a hate crime. U.S. President Joe Biden visited the scene on Tuesday.
Investigators are studying a racist 180-page document, purportedly written by Gendron, that said the assault was intended to terrorize all non-white, non-Christian people and get them to leave the United States.
Some information in this report was provided by The Associated Press and Reuters.