Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against the man responsible for killing 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket in 2022. As The Shade Room previously reported, the suspect, Payton Gendron, was sentenced to life without parole in February 2023.
RELATED: BREAKING: Payton Gendron Sentenced To Life In Prison For Racist Killing 10 Black People In Buffalo Supermarket Shooting
More Details Regarding Federal Prosecutors’ Decision
According to ABC News, on Friday, January 12, federal prosecutors filed a petition in court that shared their intentions to seek the death penalty against Gendron.
“United States believes the circumstances in Counts 11-20 of the Indictment are such that, in the event of a conviction, a sentence of death is justified,” the filing reportedly reads, per the outlet.
The specific order of the counts against Gendron remains unclear. However, he was previously indicted with ten counts of a “Hate Crime Resulting in Death” and three counts of a “Hate Crime Involving Bodily Injury and Attempt to Kill.”
Additionally, Gendron was charged with ten counts of “Use of a firearm to Commit Murder…” and three counts of “Use and Discharge of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence.”
“Gendron intentionally killed Roberta Drury, Pearl Young, Hayward Patterson, Ruth Whitfield, Celestine Chaney, Aaron W Salter Jr., Andre Mackniel, Marcus Morrison, Katherine Massey, and Geraldine Talley,” the filing reportedly explained. “Payton Gendron expressed bias, hatred, and contempt toward Black persons, and his animus toward Black persons played a role.”
According to The Guardian, the filing also noted that Gendron selected the supermarket location “to maximize the number of Black victims… particularly vulnerable due to old age and infirmity.”
On Friday, prosecutors also notified Judge Lawrence Vilardo of their filing. However, Gendron was not present for this hearing.
ABC News reports that the next proceeding in the case is scheduled for February 2.
Attorneys For The Mass Shooter Weigh In On The Decision Along With Victims’ Family Members
According to the outlet, defense attorneys for Grendon were “deeply disappointed” in the prosecution’s decision. In a statement, the attorneys noted that the federal government’s efforts “would be better spent” on other matters.
“Rather than a prolonged and traumatic capital prosecution, the efforts of the federal government would be better spent on combatting the forces that facilitated this terrible crime, including easy access to deadly weapons and the failure of social media companies to moderate the hateful rhetoric and images that circulate online,” the defense attorneys statement read, per ABC News.
Additionally, family members of victims in the Buffalo supermarket shooting also shared their thoughts on the prosecution’s decision.
Geraldine Talley’s son, Mark, told reporters he feels that Gendron is “getting off the hook” if he is sentenced to death.
“As far as I’m concerned, I think he’s getting off the hook getting the death penalty because he won’t get that suffering that I want,” he explained, per ABC News. “For me, I want something worse than that. I want him to torture, I want him to suffer, I want everything he ever loved to suffer. I want friends and family that he loved to suffer. I want possibly the worst thing that I can ever imagine to possibly happen to him.”
However, Buffalo’s mayor, Byron Brown, supports the prosecution’s choice.
“I think it is the right decision,” Brown reportedly explained. “Ten innocent lives in this community were taken, three other members of the community were injured…”
A Brief Recap Of The Buffalo Mass Shooter’s 2023 Sentencing
As The Shade Room previously reported, the mass shooting occurred at the Tops Friendly Markets on May 14, 2022. Gendron pled guilty to the crime in November 2022.
On February 15, 2023, he was sentenced to life in prison. During the hearing, Gendron shared a speech with the courtroom while reportedly becoming emotional about his actions.
“I’m very sorry for all the pain I forced the victims and their families to suffer through. I’m very sorry for stealing the lives of your loved ones. I cannot express how much I regret all the decisions I made leading up to my actions on May 14,” he said. “I did a terrible thing that day. I shot and killed people because they were Black. Looking back now, I can’t believe I actually did it. I believed what I read online and acted out of hate. I know I can’t take it back, but I wish I could, and I don’t want anyone to be inspired by me and what I did.”
During the sentencing, a victim’s family member went viral after lunging at Gendron.
White Supremacist Peyton Gendron was set to be sentenced to life today for killing 10 black people in a Buffalo Supermarket. The g*nman had to be removed from the courtroom during his sentencing after a man rushed at him during the victim statement portion of the proceedings. 👀 pic.twitter.com/H7FovmxAXl
— Culture Plugg 🔌 (@CulturePlugg) February 15, 2023