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Alleged Buffalo supermarket shooter arraigned in federal court

WBFO File Photo

The man prosecutors say carried out the racially motivated mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket in May was in a courtroom Monday morning for his federal arraignment.

The 27 counts against Payton Gendron include 10 counts of Hate Crime Act Resulting in Death, 10 counts of Discharge of a Firearm to Commit Murder, four counts of Hate Crime Involving an Attempt to Kill, and three counts of Use and Discharge of a Firearm in a Relation to a Crime of Violence.

Ten people died and three were wounded in the May 14 attack at Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue. Although federal officials have not indicated whether they will seek the death penalty, Gendron’s federal case is being handled as a potential capital case.

“My preference would just be for him to plead guilty. That’s just the preference for me," said Zeneta Everhart, whose son, Zaire Goodman, is one of three surviving shooting victims. "But ... if the U.S. Attorney, if the Attorney General decides they want to seek the death penalty, then I support that."

Neither U.S. attorneys nor defense lawyers commented following proceedings.

Federal prosecutors have been given 45 days to deliver their evidence to the defense, which in turn will have 90 days to sort through the anticipated high volume of information, some of which is still being gathered according to U.S. attorneys. The next hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 9.

“For me, the length of time isn’t an issue. I think that the prosecutors know what they're doing. And I think that I'd rather take longer. I want to make sure that they have all of the evidence. I want to make sure that their T's are crossed, and the I's are dotted,” Everhart said.

Gendron remains held in the custody of New York State, which has its own 25-count case against him.

(EDITORIAL NOTE: While WBFO has chosen not to give the accused gunman extra fame nor gratuitously name him, in stories about his court proceedings, we have opted to identify him. To not do so would be incomplete journalism, and people of color have suggested that anonymity could provide cover to racism that ought to be otherwise exposed and discussed.)

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