A sentencing hearing took a turn after a family member of a victim attempted to get to the shooter.
The moment took place as Barbara Massey was delivering a victim impact statement about her sister, 72-year-old Katherine Massey, who died after a gunman opened fire at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 people.
“My sister Katherine Massey was a great person,” she said.
Massey continued, “Katherine didn’t hurt anybody. You don’t come to our city and decide you don’t like Black people — man, 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 in no neighborhoods and take people out.”
A man behind her proceeded to charge toward the table where gunman Payton Gendron was sitting.
Police were able to grab the man before he reached Gendron.
Gendron was then taken out of the courtroom.
Person lunges at Tops mass shooter during trial, proceedings resume after delay pic.twitter.com/zf5iwHNJtF
— Frisch Report (@FrischReport) February 15, 2023
After a break, Gendron was brought back into the courtroom.
“We cannot have that in the courtroom. We must conduct ourselves appropriately because we are all better than that,” Erie County Court Judge Susan Eagan said.
Gendron was sentenced to life after pleading guilty in November to “one count of domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate, 10 counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder and a weapons possession charge” for the shooting that took place at Tops Friendly Markets on May 14, 2022, as CNN reported.
Eagan explained to Gendron, “There is no place for you or your ignorant, hateful and evil ideologies in a civilized society. There can be no mercy for you, no understanding, no second chances.”
She continued, “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 made a statement of his own in court.
“I cannot express how much I regret all the decisions I made leading up to my actions on May 14,” Gendron said in court.
He added, “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. 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.”
The attorney general reportedly will later make a decision on whether to seek the death penalty, according to the Justice Department.
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