Scene of a shooting at a TOPS supermarket in Buffalo, New York
Scene of a shooting at a TOPS supermarket in Buffalo, New YorkREUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The US Justice Department indicated in a court filing on Friday that it is intending to seek the death penalty for Payton Gendron, who shot dead 10 Black people at a supermarket in Buffalo in May of 2022, Fox News reported.

Gendron, 20, is already serving a sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole after he pleaded guilty to state charges of murder and hate-motivated domestic terrorism in the attack at a Tops grocery store.

New York does not have capital punishment, but the Justice Department had the option of seeking the death penalty in a separate federal hate crimes case. Gendron had promised to plead guilty in that case if prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty.

In a notice announcing the decision to seek the death penalty, Trini Ross, the US attorney for western New York, wrote that Gendron had selected the supermarket "in order to maximize the number of Black victims."

Relatives of the victims were informed about the Justice Department's decision in a private meeting Friday morning with prosecutors at the federal courthouse in Buffalo, according to The Buffalo News.

Prior to the shooting, Gendron uploaded a manifesto to the internet, warning of “white genocide”, citing low birthrates among people of European heritage across the globe, and higher birthrates among non-white populations.

A document posted online by the suspect detailed his initial plans weeks before the shooting.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)