PODCAST: Buffalo supermarket shooter charged with domestic terrorism, 10 counts of murder (UCNN 06.04.22)

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According to NPR, The white 18-year-old man accused of fatally shooting 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket was charged Wednesday by a grand jury with domestic terrorism motivated by hate and 10 counts of first-degree murder. Payton Gendron, who has been in custody since the May 14 shooting, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Erie County Court. The 25-count indictment also contains charges of murder and attempted murder as a hate crime and weapons possession. Gendron had previously been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting, which also injured three people. He has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors told a judge May 20 the grand jury had voted to indict Gendron but did not disclose charges, saying proceedings were ongoing. The domestic terrorism charge accuses Gendron of killing “because of the perceived race and/or color” of his victims. Murder charges were filed for each of the victims, who ranged in age from 32 to 86 and included eight shoppers, the store security guard and a church deacon who drove shoppers to and from the store with their groceries. The gunman, carrying an AR-15-style rifle he had recently purchased, opened fire on Saturday afternoon shoppers at the only supermarket in the predominantly Black neighborhood.

According to the Associated Press, It should have been the first day of a joyous week for Robb Elementary School students — the start of summer break. Instead on Monday, the first two of 19 children slain inside a classroom were being remembered at funeral visitations. The gathering for 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza was at Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home in Uvalde, Texas, directly across from the grade school where the children, along with two teachers, were shot to death on Tuesday before the gunman himself was killed. Visitation for another 10-year-old, Maite Rodriguez, was at the town’s other funeral home. Over the next two-and-a-half traumatic weeks, people in the southwestern Texas town will say goodbye to the children and their teachers, one heart-wrenching visitation, funeral and burial after another. As family and friends unleash their grief, investigators will push for answers about how police responded to the shooting, and lawmakers have said they’ll consider what can be done to stem the gun violence permeating the nation. This week alone, funerals are planned for 11 children and teacher Irma Garcia.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Johnny Depp won his defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard, a Virginia jury decided Wednesday, with cheers going up outside the courtroom from the crowd of Depp supporters who gathered there. Inside the courtroom, a black-clad Heard kept her eyes downcast as the jury’s concurrent decision was read, saying that she had lost the bulk of her countersuit. He had sued her for $50 million, and she countersued for $100 million. The jury awarded Depp $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages in the trial. However, the punitive damages were immediately reduced by Judge Penney Azcarate to Virginia’s statutory cap of $350,000. In Heard’s countersuit, the jury awarded $2 million in compensatory damages to her after finding one of her points valid: that former Depp attorney Adam Waldman had defamed her when he told a tabloid she and her friends created a hoax that included roughing up her apartment to look worse for police. Depp spoke about the verdict in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon. He said, in part, “False, very serious and criminal allegations were levied at me via the media, which triggered an endless barrage of hateful content, although no charges were ever brought against me. It had already traveled around the world twice within a nanosecond and it had a seismic impact on my life and my career. And six years later, the jury gave me my life back. I am truly humbled.” Depp closed his lengthy statement with “Truth never perishes.” The decision — from a jury of five men and two women — came after nearly 13 hours of deliberation spanning three days.

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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!