The courtroom exploded during the sentencing hearing of Buffalo mass shooter Payton Gendron on Wednesday as an unidentified man rushed him while the sister of one of the victims who was mowed down during the killing spree passionately spoke.
(Video Credit: LiveNOW from FOX)
The man in grey sweats was escorted out of the Erie County Courthouse in New York after lunging at Gendron.
Barbara Massey was angrily giving her victim impact speech aimed at Gendron concerning her late sister Katherine Massey, whom he coldly executed along with nine others during the shooting in the May 2022 attack, when the man pushed past her to get at him, forcing police to intervene.
“I want personally to choke you,” Massey proclaimed during her statement.
“My sister Katherine Massey was a great person. Kat didn’t hurt anybody,” she informed the killer.
That was when the unidentified man in gray clothing walked up and 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**n thing about black people. We’re human,” Massey told Gendron.
The man grabbed Massey’s shoulder and pushed her aside and then launched himself at Gendron and his attorneys.
“Don’t do it!” someone shouted, according to Fox News as the courtroom erupted and police entered the fray to calm the situation before someone could get hurt.
Gendron was seen being rushed out of the courtroom as court officers restrained the individual.
“You don’t know what we’re going through,” the man shouted as he was led away by officers, according to the Associated Press.
Prior to Barbara Massey’s impact statement, Gendron was pictured crying as family members of the victims read their statements, with one calling him a “cowardly racist.”
(Video Credit: WKBW TV | Buffalo, NY)
There was a pause in the proceedings before Gendron was brought back into the courtroom.
“I am sure that you are all disturbed by the physicality that we’ve seen in the courtroom here today. And then I understand that emotion, and I understand the anger, but we cannot have that in the courtroom,” Judge Susan Egan declared.
“And I am prepared to give anyone that needs to speak an opportunity to speak. And I know that you need to address some of your comments to the defendant,” she noted. “But we must conduct ourselves appropriately because are all better than that.”
Gendron is white and is accused of being a racist for deliberately targeting black people. He killed ten black people and wounded three others at a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York, on May 18, 2022.
He has pleaded guilty to the charges against him including murder and domestic terrorism motivated by hate, which carries an automatic life sentence. On Wednesday, Gendron was sentenced to life in prison, according to Fox News.
“There can be no mercy for you, no understanding, no second chances,” Judge Susan Eagan said as she sentenced him.
Buffalo supermarket mass shooter Payton Gendron sentenced to life in prison.
Judge: "You’ll never see the light of day as a free man ever again" pic.twitter.com/PeTClJtLkA
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) February 15, 2023
“I’m very sorry for the pain. I forced the victims and their families to suffer through. I’m very sorry for stealing the lives of your loved ones,” Gendron told the courtroom just before he learned his fate. “I cannot express how much I regret all the decisions I made leading up to my actions on May 14th.”
“I did a terrible thing that day. I shot and killed people because they were black. Looking back now, I can’t believe I actually did it,” he claimed. “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.”
After terrorist and mass murderer Payton Gendron reads his statement, a woman from the gallery yells “YOU DON’T MEAN NONE OF THAT SHIT FOH!”
The amount of pain in her voice when she screams… I cannot. pic.twitter.com/lY0tuuP1bb
— Renee (@PettyLupone) February 15, 2023
A prosecutor representing the Erie County District Attorney’s Office said the sentence was “an opportunity to say no to racism, to say no to hate, our chance to hold this defendant accountable and show others that think like the defendant, that these acts have no place in our society and that there will be dire consequences.”
A defense attorney representing Gendron commented that he “will spend the rest of his life locked away and eventually he will die in state prison. We hope that knowing he will never be free again will offer some small bit of comfort to those that he hurt so much.”
Judge Susan Egan remarked, “We must call out injustice in our daily lives” and “When we see it, we must reject racism in all of its forms.”
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