Updated: Jul 15, 2022 07:34 IST
Washington [US], July 15 (ANI): US Buffalo shooter, Payton Gendron has been indicted by the federal Grand Jury on Thursday on 27 counts of federal hate crimes and firearms charges in the mass shooting at the Tops grocery store on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, US state of New York two months ago.
The announcement was made by US Attorney General Merrick Garland and other Department of Justice officials.
The indictment charges Gendron, 19, of Conklin, New York, with 14 violations of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (Shepard-Byrd Act) and 13 firearms offences in connection with the carnage, Xinhua reported.
The indictment alleges that on or about May 14, Gendron opened fire with a Bushmaster XM rifle and shot multiple individuals in and around a Tops grocery store, which resulted in the deaths of 10 African Americans, as well as injury to three others.
According to the local media, the indictment charges that Gendron violated the Shepard-Byrd Act by willfully causing the death of the victims because of their actual and perceived race and colour.
It also charges Gendron with 13 counts of using, carrying, or discharging a firearm in relation to the hate crimes, and seeks forfeiture of items, including the weapon used in the shooting.
The indictment further includes special findings alleging, among other things, that Gendron committed the offence after substantial planning and premeditation to commit an act of terrorism.
Upon conviction, the charges in the indictment carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment or the death penalty. Gendron is currently in state custody pending state criminal charges.
Ten people were brutally killed and three others were injured in a racially motivated hate crime in Buffalo city in New York.
With increasing incidents of gun violence in the United States, President Joe Biden had said that the US needs to ban assault weapons for the sake of protecting children and families or raise the age to purchase them from 18 to 21.
Furthermore, on June 22, a group of US lawmakers reached a much-awaited deal on a bipartisan gun safety bill after recent mass shooting incidents in Uvalde, Buffalo and Texas, that struck a nerve in the country.
The new bill aims to take firearms away from dangerous people and provide billions of dollars in new mental health funding.
The bill does not ban assault-style rifles or significantly expand background-check requirements for gun purchases, but it gives states more resources to take guns away from dangerous individuals. (ANI)