The person who shot and killed ten people in a racially motivated attack at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket almost 2 years ago may now be executed, according to a recent court document. Petan Gendron, who was found guilty of murder and hate-inspired domestic terrorism, is currently serving multiple life sentences. Federal prosecutors announced their plan to seek Gendron’s execution in a notice they filed on Friday.
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This decision marks the first time under President Biden that the U.S. Department of Justice has given permission to look into the death penalty once more and take a better decision.
“Petan Gendron expressed prejudice, hatred, and contempt towards black individuals, and his animosity towards them played a role in the homicides,” the prosecution said in the filing..”
The victims identified include Roberta Drury, Pearl Young, Howard Paterson, Ruth Whitfield, Celestine Chaney, Aaron W. Salter Jr., Andre McDaniel, Margus Morrison, Catherine Massey, and Geraldine Talley.
Terrence Conners, the attorney representing the families of the victims, informed Newsbuzzr on Friday that they are divided on whether Gendron should face the death penalty or spend life in prison without the possibility of parole. However, he mentioned relief at the decision, bringing an end to the uncertainty surrounding the case’s status and potential sentencing.
Conners said, “It does not end the pain and suffering they have experienced.”
Gendron’s attorney, Sonya Zoghlin, expressed deep disappointment with the government’s decision, stating that she was “profoundly disappointed” and revealed that Gendron was 18 years old at the time of the shooting.
“Rather than investing in efforts to address the root causes of this horrific crime, the federal government is better served by dealing with the forces that fueled this heinous act, including easy access to lethal weapons, the failure of social media companies to control hateful rhetoric and images, which are broadcast online,” Zoghlin stated in a release.
A federal grand jury indicted Gendron in July 2022 on 27 counts related to the Tops Friendly Market shooting, and he was found guilty in July 2022. Gendron live-streamed the shooting, revealing that he targeted the area due to its Black population and was motivated by racial hatred and extremism. Survivors of the mass shooting are currently pursuing legal action against social media companies, manufacturers of the shooter’s weapons, and the shooter’s parents for their alleged role in failing to prevent the mass shooting.
The Tops Friendly Market shooting occurred on May 14, 2022, when Gendron traveled over 200 miles from his home in Conklin, New York to Buffalo. Using a semi-automatic rifle, he killed 13 people, including 8 supermarket customers, a store security guard, and a church deacon who was retrieving groceries where 3 individuals survived.
The rifle bore racist slurs, and Gendron had posted online articles promoting conspiracy theories, including the racist “replacement theory,” suggesting that white Americans were being systematically “replaced” by people of color. He had sought forgiveness during court proceedings last year.