Payton Gendron, the white supremacist who killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket, was sentenced to life in prison without parole Wednesday.
The sentencing came during an emotional hearing which was disrupted briefly when a man in the audience charged at the gunman as relatives of the victims expressed the pain he caused by his racist attack.
“There can be no mercy for you, no understanding, no second chances,” said Judge Susan Eagan. “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.”
Gendron, who was 18 at the time of the attack, pleaded guilty in November to all state charges brought against him. The charges included multiple counts of murder in the first degree and an additional count of domestic terrorism motivated by hate. The terrorism charge carried an automatic life sentence.
The gunman faces separate federal charges that could carry a death sentence if the U.S. Justice Department chooses to seek it. In December, Gendron’s defense attorney said he’s prepared to plead guilty in federal court as well to avoid execution.
On May 14, 2022, Gendron opened fire at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, shooting 13 people, killing 10 of the victims “because of the perceived race and/or color of such person or persons.” He wore bullet-resistant armor and a helmet equipped with a livestreaming camera while using a semiautomatic rifle that investigators said was purchased legally, but modified so that it could hold high-capacity magazines that are not legal in New York.
The deceased victims 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.