White gunman pleads guilty to racist New York supermarket massacre

WASHINGTON (AA): The gunman who killed 10 Black people inside a Buffalo, New York supermarket during a racially-motivated mass shooting pleaded guilty on Monday to over two dozen charges, including multiple counts of murder as a hate crime.

Payton Gendron, 19, previously pleaded not guilty to federal charges, but his reversal in state court now signals that he will spend the rest of his life behind bars for fatally shooting 10 people and wounding three other victims who survived the grisly May 14 shooting.

Gendron, who is white, now faces a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole after he pleaded guilty to all counts in a grand jury indictment, including domestic terrorism motivated by hate, murder and murder as a hate crime, according to multiple reports.

The mass shooter said in a manifesto he posted online shortly before he carried out the attack that he chose the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo because it was in a predominantly Black neighborhood.

Gendron drove some 200 miles from his home town of Conklin, New York to perpetrate the hate crime in Buffalo.

Police have said Gendron was motivated by a white supremacist conspiracy theory known as replacement theory, which has been at the heart of several other hate crime attacks, including one that targeted Latinos in an El Paso, Texas Walmart in 2019, and another that targeted Jewish Americans in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania synagogue the year prior.

Adherents of the “Great Replacement” falsely believe there is an initiative to diminish the influence of whites in societies in which they have traditionally been the majority through non-white immigration, and by ensuring whites having lower birth rates than non-whites.

Gendron still faces charges in federal court that carry the possibility of a death sentence, though the Justice Department has not said whether it will seek capital punishment in the case.