The suspect accused of killing several people at a supermarket located in a Black Buffalo, New York neighborhood last month has pleaded not guilty to a 25-count indictment against him.
Eighteen-year-old Payton Gendron appeared in court for an arraignment hearing Thursday afternoon and pled not guilty to all charges including a state domestic terrorism and hate crime charge.
On Wednesday a grand jury returned a 25-count indictment which charged the accused shooter with 10 counts of first-degree murder, 10 counts of second-degree murder as a hate crime and three counts of attempted murder as a hate crime for the three victims who survived the shooting, ABC News reported.
According to Al Jazeera, Assistant District Attorney John Fereleto said, “There is overwhelming proof of the defendant’s guilt. The defendant was caught at the scene of the crime with the weapon in his hands.”
On May 14, Gendron who was outfitted with tactical gear, carried an AR-15 assault rifle through the parking lot of a supermarket and opened fire, shooting four people. He then entered the store shooting a security guard and eight others while livestreaming the entire ordeal. As a result Gendron killed 10 people and injured three, CNN reported.
During the attack the gunman allegedly targeted Black people due to his belief in the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory which states that people of color are replacing white voters in order to reach a certain political goal, NPR reported.
If Gendron is found guilty on all charges he would be sentenced to life in prison, the Associated Press reported.
He is currently being held without bail and is slated to appear back in court on July 7.