“Payton, you are a coward”: Grand Jury votes on indictment of mass shooting suspect

BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) — A grand jury has voted to indict the man accused of killing 10 people and wounding three others in Tops on Jefferson Avenue, prosecutors told a judge Thursday. The grand jury vote took place on Wednesday, they said.

As a result, a felony hearing scheduled for Thursday was adjourned without any testimony taking place. It is not yet clear what charges the grand jury voted on. The suspect, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, was initially charged with a single count of first-degree murder over the weekend.


  • Robert Drury, 32
  • Margus Morrison, 52 years old
  • Andre Mackneil, 53
  • Aaron Salter, 55 years old
  • Geraldine Talley, 62 years old
  • Celestine Chaney, 65
  • Heyward Patterson, 67
  • Catherine Massey, 72
  • Young Pearl, 77
  • Ruth Whitfield, 86


Emotions ran high in the room. Someone sitting in a row of relatives of the victims could be heard yelling “Payton, you’re a coward!” while the suspect was being taken out after his appearance.

While in the courtroom Thursday, the suspect was wearing armor under his vest. Security at the courthouse was, in the words of News 4’s Chris Horvatits, “at an all-time high” Thursday.

“The sheriff’s office is taking every precaution with the incarcerated individual as the process progresses,” a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said.

If convicted, the accused shooter could serve life in prison without parole. He is currently in the custody of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, on suicide watch.

Buffalo supermarket mass shooting

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press and Emmy Award-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on twitter.

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