On Wednesday (Feb. 15), the 19-year-old white gunman who killed 10 Black people and injured three at Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York last year was sentenced to life in prison without parole after hearing emotional statements from families of the victims.
“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,” Barbara Massey, the sister of victim Katherine Massey, told Payton Gendron of the racist massacre.
As she continued to address Gendron in the courtroom, a man rushed toward him, leading to a short break. After other family members spoke, Gendron offered a brief apology, stating that he was "very sorry for all the pain" he caused "for stealing the lives of your loved ones." "I did a terrible thing that day. I shot people because they were Black," he said.
“There can be no mercy for you, no understanding, no second chances,” Judge Susan Eagan said as she sentenced him, according to AP. She called his actions at the supermarket “a reckoning” for a nation “founded and built, in part, on white supremacy.” Gendron is also due in a federal court tomorrow for an update in a separate case that could lead to a death sentence if prosecutors seek it. In December, his attorney said that Gendron is prepared to plead guilty to avoid execution.