The gunman who was charged with killing 10 black people in a racist massacre at a Buffalo supermarket in May is expected to plead guilty to all charges against him in Erie County court on Monday morning.
Payton Gendron, 19, who was arrested shortly after the shooting, was indicted by a grand jury in June on 25 counts, including murder, domestic terrorism and other charges related to the massacre. Relatives of two victims said on Thursday he was due to plead guilty to his charges this week.
The charges against Mr. Gendron included 10 counts of first-degree murder, 10 counts of second-degree murder as a hate crime and a single count of hate-motivated domestic terrorism, which carries a life sentence. without parole.
He still faces federal hate crimes and weapons violations, and some of those charges could carry the death penalty if the Justice Department decides to seek it. Although there is now a moratorium on federal executions, Attorney General Merrick Garland did not rule out the possibility of seeking the death penalty when the charges against Mr. Gendron were announced in June.
Months before the massacre, Mr. Gendron began writing about his plans for the attack in Buffalo in a diary on the messaging site Discord. In May, Mr. Gendron, who was 18 at the time, traveled about 200 miles to East Buffalo from his home in the town of Conklin, New York, to lead the attack.
In the many online writings he left behind, Mr. Gendron, an outspoken white supremacist, said he chose this area of Buffalo for its large population of black residents. His online posts were filled with racist writing.
The 13 people who were shot, three of whom survived, were almost all black.
Authorities say Gendron, who broadcast the attack live, used a Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle purchased legally from a store near his hometown during the attack and wore camouflage and body armor.
In the aftermath of the Buffalo attack and elementary school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, Albany lawmakers passed a sweeping package of gun bills that raised the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle at 21 and prohibited most civilians from buying bullets. heavy-duty body vests.
Jesse McKinley contributed report.