Buffalo mass shooting culprit receives life sentence
A family member lunges at the killer before the sentencing on Wednesday and was restrained by security.
In a dramatic court hearing, a white supremacist was condemned to life in jail for killing ten Black people in a Buffalo, New York, supermarket last year.
Payton Gendron, 19, pled guilty to 25 charges, including first-degree murder and hate-motivated terrorism.
A family member lunged at the killer before the sentencing on Wednesday and was restrained by security.
Other family members gave heart-wrenching statements.
Buffalo grocery store mass shooting suspect who killed 10 people was escorted out of court after a man rushed him. pic.twitter.com/as5iiCYnGJ— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) February 15, 2023
Addressing Gendron, Barbara Massey, whose sister Katherine was killed, said, "You'll visit our city and conclude you don't like black people. You don't know anything about black folks, man. We're only human."
"We're close," she said. "You hurt one of us, you hurt us all."
Zaire Goodman, who was injured during the mass shooting, suffered from survivor's guilt, as per his mother.
"He is dealing with the pain that I as a mother cannot bear," Zeneta Everhart told the court.
"On that day this terrorist made the choice that the value of a black human meant nothing to him… whatever the sentence is that [the gunman] receives, it will never be enough," she added.
On his account, Brian Talley, who lost family member Geraldine Talley, said, "I forgive you, but I forgive you not for your sake, but for mine and for this black community."
Wayne Jones, the son of a victim, Celestine Chaney, told the killer, "You've been brainwashed. You don't even know black people that much to hate them. You learned this on the internet."
Before the shooting, the gunman examined the racial makeup of Buffalo, which was 200 miles (320 kilometers) away from his home in Conklin, New York, as per investigators.
He live-streamed the 14 May attack at Tops Friendly Market while wearing bullet-resistant armor, after writing online about being inspired by prior racially motivated attacks.
Buffalo supermarket mass shooting pic.twitter.com/3kWFZSxAXv— RG (@RG46729089) February 16, 2023
However, in court on Wednesday, he warned against copycat shootings.
"I shot and killed people because they were black," said the gunman, who is not eligible for parole.
"Looking back now, I can't believe I actually did it," he claimed.
"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," he added.
Judge Susan Eagan stated after her decision, "There can be no mercy for you, no understanding, no second chances."
Although the death penalty is no longer available in New York, federal authorities may seek it in connection with the gunman's denial of hate and domestic terrorism charges.
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