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The Buffalo Supermarket Shooter Has Been Sentenced to Life in Prison

The Buffalo Supermarket Shooter Has Been Sentenced to Life in Prison

A New York court has sentenced 19-year-old Payton Gendron to life in prison without the possibility of parole for a mass shooting attack that killed ten Black people at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket last May.

In November, Gendron pleaded guilty one count of domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate, 10 counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder and a weapons possessions charge. Gendron was the first person to be charged under a 2020 New York law against domestic terrorism motivated by hate, which carries an automatic sentence of life without parole.

On May 14, 2022, Gendron traveled over 200 miles to a majority-Black neighborhood in Buffalo to carry out the shooting, which he livestreamed on Twitch. Prosecutors reported that he posted a hate-filled creed invoking the racist “great replacement” conspiracy theory that white people were being systematically replaced by nonwhite people.

Before being sentenced, surviving victims and loved ones of those killed had the chance to address Gendron and the court. The daughter of Andre Mackniel, one of the ten people killed, spoke directly to Gendron, saying, “I’ll never forgive you. It wasn’t my dad’s time to go. Who are you to think you control that?”

Gendron himself also decided to make some remarks in the courtroom, expressing regret and apologizing for the pain he had caused the victims and families.

“I’m very sorry for stealing the lives of your loved ones,” he said. “I did a terrible thing that day. I shot and killed people because they are Black. Looking back now, I can’t believe I did that. I believed what I read online and acted out of hate. And now I can’t take it back. But I wish I could. I don’t want anyone to be inspired by me by what I did.”

Gendron is also facing separate federal charges — 10 counts of a hate crime resulting in death, three counts of hate crime involving bodily injury and 13 counts of firearms offenses — which could carry the death penalty if the Justice Department decides to seek it. Gendron pleaded not guilty to the federal charges. However, during a December hearing, Gendron’s attorney said he would be prepared to enter a guilty plea in federal court in exchange for a life sentence.

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