Buffalo mass shooting: Erie County DA says domestic terrorism charges are possible in grocery store attack

He said that 'multiple additional charges' could be filed

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Erie County District Attorney John Flynn indicated during a Fox News interview that domestic terrorism charges could be filed against the 18-year-old who allegedly opened fire at a grocery store on Saturday afternoon, killing 10 people and injuring three others.

Buffalo Police Department Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said that the individual, later identified as Payton Gendron, 18, allegedly committed the shooting while live-streaming it on a social media platform at Tops Friendly Market.

During a press conference on Sunday, officials said they believe the shooting was racially motivated, pointing to a roughly 180-page manifesto that the shooter wrote and posted before allegedly shooting a total of 13 people. The manifesto included a plan for the attack.

BUFFALO MASS SHOOTING: TIMELINE FOR GROCERY STORE ATTACK THAT POLICE SAY WAS RACIALLY MOTIVATED

A person walks past the scene of a shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday, May 15, 2022. 

A person walks past the scene of a shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday, May 15, 2022.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Gendron wrote in the manifesto that he identifies as a White Supremacist, stating that he fears White people are in the process of being replaced by people of other races.

Eleven of the victims in the attack are Black and two of them are White, according to authorities.

Flynn said during an interview with Fox News on Sunday that domestic terrorism charges are being considered in addition to the first-degree murder charges that the 18-year-old faces.

"We're looking at potentially multiple additional charges to be filed," Flynn said. "We are looking at domestic terrorism charges, we are looking at hate crime charges, there's actually a charge in New York State called domestic terrorism motivated by hate. So, that charge right there encompasses the actual terrorism and the hate charge together, all in one charge."

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Payton Gendron

Payton Gendron (Erie County DA / AP Photo)

Gendron was charged with first-degree murder and pleaded not guilty in front of a judge on Saturday evening.

The live-streaming platform that was used in the attack was later identified as Twitch. A spokesperson for the company told Fox News that the video was taken down two minutes after the violence began, adding that the company will work with law enforcement during the course of their investigation.

During a press conference on Sunday, Gramaglia said that the families of the 10 victims from the attack were notified and called the attack an "absolute racist hate crime."

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"The evidence that we have uncovered so far makes no mistake that this is an absolute racist hate crime," Gramaglia said. 

"It will be prosecuted as a hate crime," he added. "This is someone who has hate in their hearts ... And there is no mistake that that's the direction that this is going in. This will be completely geared toward securing a conviction for this individual."

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Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Saturday night that the Department of Justice is investigating the Buffalo mass shooting as a "hate crime and an act of racially-motivated violent extremism."

"The Justice Department is investigating this matter as a hate crime and an act of racially-motivated violent extremism. The Justice Department is committed to conducting a thorough and expeditious investigation into this shooting and to seeking justice for these innocent victims," Garland said in a statement.