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Buffalo grocery store mass shooter apologizes for racist attack and receives sentence of life in prison

On May 14, 2022, a 19-year-old white man named Payton Gendron killed 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket in an anti-Black racist attack. On Feb. 14 he was in court for sentencing.

During the sentencing hearing, victims’ family members were allowed to make statements. While one woman was making a statement, a man rushed at the mass shooter.

The man, a relative of one of the victims, ran at the gunman but was quickly blocked by courthouse security. The gunman was whisked out of the courtroom.

The incident came during a victim impact statement from Barbara Massey, the sister of Katherine Massey, a 72-year-old who was killed in the attack. Five other people had already given statements about their loved ones.

After a short break, Gendron was brought back into the courtroom and Erie County Court Judge Susan Eagan restarted the hearing.

“I’m very sorry for all the pain I forced the victims and their families to suffer through. I’m very sorry for stealing the lives of your loved ones. I cannot express how much I regret all the decisions I made leading up to my actions on May 14,”

Payton Gendron, wearing an orange jumpsuit and shackles, said in court.

“I did a terrible thing that day. I shot and killed people because they were Black. Looking back now, I can’t believe I actually did it. I believed what I read online and acted out of hate. I know I can’t take it back, but I wish I could, and I don’t want anyone to be inspired by me and what I did.”

In November 2022, Gendron pleaded guilty to one count of domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate, 10 counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder, and a weapons possession charge for the mass shooting at Tops Friendly Markets on May 14, 2022.

Gendron is expected to be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

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Written by Jamil Johnson