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Buffalo mass shooting suspect indicted on federal hate crime, firearm charges

Posted at 12:09 PM, Jul 14, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A federal grand jury has indicted the Buffalo mass shooting suspect on federal hate crime and firearm charges.

The U.S. Attorney's Office announced Thursday a federal grand jury returned a 27-count indictment against the 19-year-old. He is charged with violations of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (Shepard-Byrd Act) and 13 firearms offenses in connection to the mass shooting on May 14 at Tops supermarket.

The indictment alleges the suspect arrived at Tops and opened fire with a Bushmaster XM rifle. Ten people were killed and three others were injured.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said the indictment alleges the suspect willfully caused "the death of the victims because of their actual and perceived race and color."

The charges carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment or the death penalty, according to officials.

"The Attorney General will decide whether to seek the death penalty at a later time. Should the Attorney General determine that the circumstances of the offense are such that a sentence of death is justified, the law requires that notice be filed with the court at a reasonable time before trial," a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office says.

The suspect is currently in state custody pending state criminal charges.

Thursday marks two months since the shooting. The store will then reopen to the public Friday.

This story was originally published by Anthony Reyes on wkbw.com.