The murder suspect in a deadly mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, has pleaded not guilty. The news arrives just days after Payton Gendron was hit with numerous federal charges including “Hate Crimes” for the shooting spree at the Tops grocery store in May.
His attorney noted a plea deal could come before the case heads to trial. The 19-year-old White suspect opened fire with an automatic rifle and killed ten Black people.
Zenita Everhart, the mother of 21-year-old Zaire Goodman who was among the injured, testified before the House Oversight Committee. “My son Zaire has a hole in the right side of his neck, two on his back and another on his left leg caused by an exploding bullet from an AR-15,” shared Everhart, as she took deep breaths describing her son’s injuries. “As I clean his wounds, I can feel pieces of that bullet in his back. Shrapnel will be left inside of his body for the rest of his life. Now, I want you to picture that exact scenario for one of your children.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the indictment last week and said the Justice Department “recognizes the threat that white supremacist violence poses to the safety of the American people.” With these charges, Gendron will have a maximum penalty of life in prison or the death penalty if convicted.
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