Modified: June 3, 2022 10:05am
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron of Conklin, New York was arraigned this afternoon before Erie County Court Judge Susan Eagan on a 25-count indictment charging him with the following offenses:
- One count of Domestic Act of Terrorism Motivated by Hate in the First Degree (Class “A-I” felony)
- Ten counts of Murder in the First Degree (Class “A-I” felonies)
- Ten counts of Murder in the Second Degree as a Hate Crime (Class “A-I” felonies)
- Three counts of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree as a Hate Crime (Class “A-I” felonies)
- One count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (Class “C” violent felony)
It is alleged that on Saturday, May 14, 2022, the defendant, with the intent to cause the death or attempt to cause the death of five or more people in whole or in substantial part based on the perceived race of such persons, intentionally shot 13 people with an illegal assault weapon. Ten victims died from their injuries. Three victims were injured by gunfire, but survived the attack.
Gendron is scheduled to return on Thursday, July 7, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. for further proceedings. He continues to remain held without bail.
If convicted of the highest charge, Gendron faces maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.
DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department, Erie County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, FBI, ATF and all other assisting local, state and federal law enforcement agencies for their work in this extensive investigation. DA Flynn also commends Homicide/Victim Witness Protection Case Manager Kimberly Rapp for providing ongoing support to the families of the victims and the survivors of this tragedy. DA Flynn also recognizes Chief Danielle N. D’Abate of the Community Prosecution/Training Bureau and the numerous government agencies, community organizations, volunteers and all who have helped the people in our community who have been affected by this tragedy and the continued closure of the Tops Friendly Markets on Jefferson Avenue.
The case is being prosecuted by Chief Gary W. Hackbush of the Homicide Unit, Chief John P. Feroleto of the Major Crimes Unit, Assistant District Attorney Ryan D. Haggerty of the Homicide Unit, Assistant District Attorney Justin H. Caldwell of the Narcotics/Intelligence Unit and Assistant District Attorney Noha A. Elnakib of the Special Victims/Domestic Violence Bureau.
As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.