The gunman that killed ten people at a grocery store in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, pleaded guilty on Monday to terrorism as a hate crime, murder, and attempted murder.
CNN reports Payton Gendron, 19, pleaded guilty to one count of domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate, 10 counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder and a weapons possession charge in the May 14 mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market.
The outlet says Gendron said “guilty” while emotionless during the hearing. The guilty plea comes six months after the horrific mass shooting.
Erie County district attorney described the attack as a racist hate crime and outlined the events of that day.
“In just over two minutes, the defendant, with the intent to murder as many African Americans as he could, killed 10 innocent Black people and attempted to kill three others.” He used a semiautomatic rifle to kill four people outside of the store then nine others inside.
The attack was proven racially motivated during his live stream. He held the gun up to a White man, then said “sorry” and aimed elsewhere.
It was also revealed that Gendron had planned the attack for months, visiting the Tops supermarket several times to plan his attack. He even admitted that he chose the Tops in the Buffalo area because it had the highest percentage of Black people in the area close to where he lived, Conklin, New York.
His goals of the attack were described as “To kill as many African Americans as possible, avoid dying and spread ideals.”
Eleven of the 13 people shot were Black, while two were White.
The defense attorney Brian Parker said:
“This critical step represents a condemnation of the racist ideology that fueled his horrific actions on May 14. Before he is sentenced to life without the possibility of parole on February 15, the surviving victims and deceased victims’ family members will all have a chance to address the court, the community and our client directly,” he said. “It is our hope that a final resolution of the state charges will help in some small way to keep the focus on the needs of the victims and the community.”