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Buffalo, N.Y., shooting suspect pleads not guilty to 25-count indictment

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn discusses the 25-count indictment Thursday against suspect Payton Gendron in the May 14 mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y. Gendron pleaded not guilty on all counts Thursday. Photo courtesy Erie County District Attorney/Twitter
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn discusses the 25-count indictment Thursday against suspect Payton Gendron in the May 14 mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y. Gendron pleaded not guilty on all counts Thursday. Photo courtesy Erie County District Attorney/Twitter

June 2 (UPI) -- The suspect in the Buffalo, N.Y., mass shooting that left 10 people dead in May pleaded not guilty Thursday to 25 counts against him, court documents show.

Payton Gendron appeared in person at Erie County Supreme Court to enter the plea to the 25-count indictment, which includes 10 counts of first-degree murder and 10 counts of second-degree murder as a hate crime.

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The 18-year-old also faces three counts of attempted murder as a hate crime, as well as a domestic terror and weapons charge.

Three people were injured in the attack but survived.

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Gendron answered "yes, ma'am," when asked by County Court Judge Susan Eagan if he understood the charges against him stemming from the May 14 attack at a Tops grocery store.

He was remanded into custody until his next court date, which is scheduled for July 7.

Authorities have called the shooting "racially motivated,"citing a racist manifesto Gendron posted online before the shooting.

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He surrendered to police after storming the Tops grocery store while wearing tactical gear and live streaming the attack on Twitch.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn laid out the counts of the indictment at a news conference in front of the courthouse Thursday.

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"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," according to a statement from Flynn's office, which mentions the racially-motivated nature of the crime.

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If convicted of the highest counts, Gendron faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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