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Buffalo grocery store mass shooter apologizes for racist attack and receives sentence of life in prison, The 19-year-old White man who killed 10 people in a racist mass shooting at a grocery store in a predominantly Black area of Buffalo last May apologized to the victims’ families and was sentenced to life in prison during an emotional court hearing Wednesday.
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.
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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.
The statement came during the state sentencing hearing for Gendron, who pleaded guilty in November to one count of a 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.
A number of victims’ family members spoke emotionally Wednesday about how the mass shooting had changed their lives. At one point, Gendron took off his glasses and began crying during the testimony from the victims’ families.
At another point, a man in a grey sweatshirt rushed at Gendron in court but was quickly blocked by security, and Gendron was taken out of the courtroom.
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After a short break, Gendron returned to the courtroom and Erie County Court Judge Susan Eagan restarted the hearing.”We cannot have that in the courtroom,” Eagan said.
We must conduct ourselves appropriately because we are all better than that.”In the end, the judge sentenced Gendron to life in prison on each of the terrorism and murder charges and offered a stern rebuke of him.
There is no place for you or your ignorant, hateful and evil ideologies in a civilized society,” she said. “There can be no mercy for you, no understanding, no second chances.
The damage you have caused is too great, and the people you have hurt are too valuable to this community.
You will never see the light of day as a free man ever again. ”Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said after court the sentence put legal closure on the case, but not on the broader issues.
It certainly does not put any closure on what we need to do as a society and a community going forward,” Flynn said. “Justice was done with a small ‘j’ today, but we still have a big ‘J’ of Justice to do.