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Buffalo shooter sentenced to life without parole



Emotions rose in the courtroom as Payton Gendron, who killed 10 people in a grocery store in a predominantly Black area of Buffalo last May, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Gendron, who was wearing a prison jump suit, issued a statement apologizing for his actions.

“I’m very sorry for all the pain I forced the victims and their families to suffer through. I’m very sorry for stealing the lives of your loved ones. I cannot express how much I regret all the decisions I made leading up to my actions on May 14,” Gendron said.

“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.”

Several of the families of the victims issued impact statements.  Gendron at one point removed his glasses to wipe away tears.


A man in a grey sweatshirt lunged at Gendron at one point.  Gendron was ushered away.

Prosecutors confirmed that the man in question wouldn’t be charged.

Judge Susan Eagan criticized the man’s conduct when she re-started the case.

“We cannot have that in the courtroom,” Eagan said. “We must conduct ourselves appropriately because we are all better than that.”

In the end, the judge sentenced Gendron to life in prison on each of the terrorism and murder charges and offered a stern rebuke of him.


“There is no place for you or your ignorant, hateful and evil ideologies in a civilized society,” she said. “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.”

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said the sentence would bring closure to the families of the victims, but there were still broader societal issues to be solved.

“It certainly does not put any closure on what we need to do as a society and a community going forward,” Flynn said. “Justice was done with a small ‘j’ today, but we still have a big ‘J’ of Justice to do.”

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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