Payton Gendron

Buffalo Mass Shooter Gets Life Sentence After Dramatic, Emotion-Filled Hearing

Payton Gendron
Payton Gendron, 19, Gets Life In Prison For Mass Shooting In Buffalo, NY. (File Photo)

The gunman who killed ten people and injured three more in a racist mass shooting at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket last year was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison without parole.

The sentencing came during a tense hearing where someone in the courtroom rushed at the gunman and was restrained by court officers.

“There can be no mercy for you, no understanding, no second chances,” said Judge Susan Eagan while delivering the sentence in court. “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.”

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Payton Gendron, 19, a white supremacist from Conklin, New York, who was 18 years old at the time of the massacre, appeared in Erie County Court to receive the expected sentence after pleading guilty in November to all charges brought against him, which included multiple counts of murder in the first degree and an additional count of domestic terrorism motivated by hate.

The terrorism charge carries an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole. 

The dead were identified as: Celestine Chaney, 65; Roberta A. Drury, 32; Andre Mackniel, 53; Katherine Massey, 72; Margus D. Morrison, 52; Heyward Patterson, 67; Geraldine Talley, 62; Ruth Whitfield, 86; and Pearl Young, 77. Many of their family members appeared in the courtroom in Erie County on Wednesday morning to deliver victim impact statements before Gendron and the judge.

“Kat was intelligent,” said Barbara Massey, the sister of Katherine Massey, in emotional remarks about her sibling and the attack. “She was a teacher. She was my best friend. She was anything at any given time. Cat was a protector.” 

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Toward the end of her statement, a man rose from his seat in the courtroom and charged at Gendron, who law enforcement officers quickly surrounded.

Attendees rose from their seats as shouting briefly filled the courtroom.

The gunman was escorted back into court several minutes later, and the proceedings continued.

A statement from Gendron was also read aloud in court toward the end of Wednesday’s hearing. 

“I did a terrible thing that day,” the statement read in part. “I know I can’t take it back, but I wish I could, and I don’t want anyone to be inspired by me or what I did.”

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