BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A grand jury voted on an indictment against the man accused of killing 10 people and injuring three others at Tops on Jefferson Avenue, prosecutors told a judge on Thursday. The grand jury vote took place 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, Payton Gendron, 18, was initially charged with a single count of first-degree murder over the weekend.
Emotions ran high in the room. Someone sitting in a row of victims’ families could be heard shouting “Payton, you’re a coward!” as the suspect was being led out after his appearance.
In the courtroom on Thursday, the suspect was wearing armor underneath his vest. Security at the courthouse was at an all time high.
“The Sheriff’s Office is taking every precaution with the incarcerated individual as the process moves forward,” a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said.
If convicted, the accused shooter could spend life in prison without parole. He is currently being held at the Erie County Holding Center.
Neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys shared any comment after Thursday’s court appearance. However, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn released the following statement:
“As indicated by prosecutors in Court this morning, the Grand Jury has voted to indict the defendant. The Grand Jury investigation has not been completed. Our office cannot comment further until there is an indictment reported to the Court following a complete investigation by the Grand Jury. At this time, the defendant remains charged with one count of Murder in the First Degree in Buffalo City Court.”Erie County District Attorney John Flynn
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