A relative of one of the victims shot dead by racist Buffalo gunman Payton Gendron charged at him in court today as he prepared to be sentenced to life in prison.
Gendron was sitting at the defense table listening to his victims’ relatives give impassioned impact statements.
On May 14, 2022, Gendron shot and killed ten people in a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo. He was motivated by his hatred of black people.
The man who charged at Gendron has not yet been identified but he is understood to be a relative of Kat Massey, a 110-lb, 72-year-old woman who was murdered by Gendron.
Gendron was sitting at the defense table listening to his victims’ relatives give impassioned impact statements. The relative, in grey, is shown charging at him
The man was stopped before he could get to Gendron, who was sitting at the defense table
Gendron was removed from the courtroom in a hurry
The man had been listening to Barbara Massey Mapps, the sister of victim Katherine Massey
He was listening to Barbara Massey Mapps, Kat’s sister, when he launched his attack.
The family of victim Kat Massey, 72, was speaking when the man launched his attack
Barbara had been yelling at Gendron: ‘Kat didn’t hurt anybody. You’re going to come to our city and decide you don’t like black people?
‘You don’t know a damn thing about black people.
‘We are human. We like our kids to go to good schools. We love our kids.
‘We never go to your neighborhoods and take people out.’
The man was stopped by guards before he could get to the defendant, then was taken out of the courtroom.
Gendron was ushered out in a hurry. He was brought back into the courtroom after several minutes.
In resuming, Judge Susan Eagan cautioned the public gallery: ‘I am sure you’re all disturbed by the physicality we’ve seen in the courtroom here today.
‘I understand the emotion and anger but we cannot have that in the courtroom.
‘I know you need to address some of your comments to the defendant but we must conduct ourselves appropriately. We are all better than that.’
Payton Gendron said he wanted to restore the white race by snuffing out black lives
Gendron cried as he listened to his victims’ relatives.
In November, he pleaded guilty to charges including murder and domestic terrorism motivated by hate. The terrorism charge carries an automatic life sentence.
He carried out the attack aged 18, wearing a bullet-resistant armor and a helmet equipped with a livestreaming camera as he fired his bullets.
He killed his victims with a semiautomatic rifle, purchased legally but then modified so he could load it with high-capacity ammunition magazines that are illegal in New York.
There were only three survivors after he shot 13 people, specifically seeking out black shoppers and workers.
In documents posted online, Gendron said he hoped the attack would help preserve white power in the U.S.
Gendron, now 19, has been spared the death penalty but will spend the rest of his life in prison
The Tops Friendly Market, where ten black victims were slaughtered in a racist attack in May, 2022
He wrote that he picked the Tops grocery store, about a three-hour drive from his home in Conklin, New York, because it was in a predominantly black neighborhood.
While a life prison sentence is guaranteed for Gendron, he also faces separate federal charges that could carry a death sentence if the U.S. Justice Department chooses to seek it. New York state does not have the death penalty.
Gendron’s admission of guilt on the state charges is seen as a potential help in avoiding a death sentence in the penalty phase of any federal trial.
In a December hearing, defense attorney Sonya Zoghlin said Gendron is prepared to enter a guilty plea in federal court in exchange for a life sentence.