Attorney General Garland to visit Buffalo mass shooting site and meet with victims’ families and survivors

Washington – Just over a month after an 18-year-old White man opened fire inside a Buffalo Tops supermarket, killing 10 and wounding three others,  Attorney General Merrick Garland is traveling to the site of the massacre to pay his respects to the victims’ families. 

In the wake of the massacre, Garland announced the Justice Department would investigate the matter as a hate crime and an act of racially-motivated violent extremism. Investigators allege the suspect detailed his plans and his racist motivation for the violence in hundreds of pages of writings he posted online shortly before the shooting. According to authorities, 11 of the 13 individuals who were shot were Black. 

A state grand jury earlier this month indicted the alleged shooter with charges of domestic terrorism motivated by hate and 10 counts of first-degree murder. The accused shooter, Payton Gendron, has been in custody since the May 14 shooting and has pleaded not guilty. 

Th Justice Department said Garland will travel Wednesday with Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke, whose division is a part of the federal hate crime investigation. The group will travel from Washington, D.C., to Buffalo, stopping at the Tops market before meeting privately with victims’ families and survivors of the mass shooting. 

The attorney general is scheduled to  hold a press conference with U.S. Attorney Trini Ross for the Western District of New York, who has federal jurisdiction over the Buffalo area.  

In recent weeks, the Justice Department has announced new initiatives aimed at  combating hate crimes, using grants to create state-run hate crime reporting hotlines and to support community-based approaches to reducing their frequency. The department has also established the first anti-hate crimes resources coordinator over the last year, tasked in part with facilitating community awareness of hate crimes  

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