Stacy M. Brown NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
An emotional sentencing hearing for the 19-year-old white man who killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo grocery store in 2022 was abruptly interrupted when an enraged man charged at the defendant. Chaos ensued as the sister of victim Katherine Massey spoke to the avowed racist gunman Payton Gendron before his sentence for the racist killings at Tops Friendly Markets on May 14.
“You killed my sister,” Barbara Massey screamed out at Gendron. “I will hurt you so bad. I’m not gonna be nice. Kat was my sister. I want to personally choke you out.” She chastised the murderer, telling him, “You don’t know a damn thing about Black people. We’re human. We like our kids to go to good schools. We love our kids. We never go to no neighborhoods to take people out.”
Immediately, an unidentified man wearing a gray running suit leaped toward Gendron, prompting authorities to rush the shooter out of the courtroom. After everyone returned to the courtroom, Judge Susan Egan of Erie County remarked about the tense situation, acknowledging the pain experienced by the victims’ families. “We must conduct ourselves appropriately because we are all better than that,” Egan said. Gendron then offered an apology and acknowledged his crime.
“I shot and killed people because they were Black,” he said. “I believe what I read online and acted out the hate and now I can’t take it back. I wish I could,” he lamented. Last May, Gendron traveled to Buffalo where he admittedly targeted a specific Buffalo zip code that he’d determined was all-or-mostly-Black. He entered the Tops Supermarket and commenced his racially charged massacre. A document he previously posted online championed the bigoted so-called “replacement theory,” so Gendron decided to kill as many African Americans as possible. Egan sentenced Gendron to life in prison.
“There is no place for you or your ignorant, hateful and evil ideologies in a civilized society,” Eagan told Gendron. “There can be no mercy for you, no understanding, no second chances. 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 also faces 27 federal charges, including murder and hate crimes. If convicted of those charges, he could get the death penalty.