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  • Writer's pictureTotally Gospel News

Jefferson Avenue Tops Friendly Markets location to repoen by End of July

The Jefferson Avenue Tops Friendly Markets location, the site of a deadly mass shooting that claimed the lives of 10 Black people last month will reopen to the public by the end of July, Tops President John Persons said Wednesday.

The store has been closed since May 14, when police say 18-year-old gunman Payton Gendron used an AR-style semi-automatic rifle to target shoppers and employees at the Tops location.

An assistant district attorney says Gendron was indicted by a grand jury on a state domestic terrorism and hate crime charge that would carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison, to which he pleaded not guilty.

Murder charges were filed for each of the victims, who ranged in age from 32 to 86 and included eight customers, the store security guard and a church deacon who drove shoppers to and from the store with their groceries. The 18-year-old has now also been charged with the attempted murders of three people who were shot during the attack, but survived, and with using a weapon while committing a felony.

Federal authorities also are investigating the possibility of hate crime charges against Gendron, who apparently detailed his plans and his racist motivation in hundreds of pages of writings he posted online shortly before the shooting.

Prosecutors said Gendron drove about three hours to Buffalo from his home in Conklin, New York, intending to kill as many Black people as possible. Shortly before the attack he posted documents that outlined his white supremacist views and revealed he had been planning the attack for months.

Gendron has been held without bail since the shooting and is due back in court July 7.

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