New York killer Payton Gendron, who murdered 10 Black people during a store massacre last year, apologized to his victims in court Wednesday morning as a man lunged at him during a victim impact statement.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 13 people were shot on May 14, 2022, after Gendron drove from his home in Conklin, New York, to the Tops Friendly Marke in Buffalo, where he opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle.
Eleven of the victims were Black, resulting in charges of murder, murder as a hate crime, and hate-motivated domestic terrorism. Ten of the victims, all Black, passed away, while the other victims sustained injuries.
At a sentencing hearing Wednesday at the Erie County Courthouse, a man was escorted out of the building after he lunged toward Gendron, while a family member of victim Katherine Massey delivered an impact statement to the defendant.
“My sister Katherine Massey was a great person. Kat didn’t hurt anybody,” the victim’s sister, sister Katherine Massey, said as a man in gray clothes stood behind her. “You are going to come to our city and decide you don’t like Black people. Man, you don’t know a d— thing about Black people. We’re human.”
The man in grey then rushed toward Gendron but law enforcement stopped him while officers escorted the defendant out of the courtroom.
Gendron was eventually brought back into the courtroom, where he pleaded guilty to the charges and claimed he now felt remorse for his actions.
“I shot and killed people because they were Black. Looking back now, I can’t believe I actually did it,” he said. “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.”
Judge Susan Eagan said Gendron would likely be taken into federal custody on Thursday, adding that if federal prosecutors do not seek the death penalty, a decision will be made “where Gendron will serve out his sentence” of life behind bars without parole, Fox News Digital reports.
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[Feature Photo: Top, L-R, Ruth Whitfield, Aaron Salter Jr, Katherine Massey, Pearl Young, and Margus Morrison. Bottom, L-R, Roberty Drury, Heyward Patterson, Celestine Chaney, Geraldine Talley, and Andre Mackneil/various handouts]