The gunman who orchestrated a racially motivated mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York that killed 10 people has pleaded guilty to charges of murder and terrorism.
Payton GendronThe 19-year-old will now be sentenced to life in prison without parole as part of his plea deal, the BBC reported. While in court on Monday Judge Susan Eagan read each victim’s name and asked Gendron if he killed them because of their race. He said “yes” to every charge.
Gendron was charged with first-degree murder, murder as a hate crime and hate-motivated domestic terrorism. He also faces multiple federal charges that could carry the death penalty.
“I understand that this is a momentous and tremendously emotional event,” said Judge Egan.
The charges stem from the May 14 mass shooting in which Gendron drove more than 200 miles to a predominantly black Buffalo neighborhood. Dressed in military fatigues and with a camera on his head, he arrived at Tops Friendly Market and live-streamed himself conducting the mass shooting.
In all, Gendron fatally shot 10 people between the ages of 32 and 86. Three others were injured.
During Monday’s hearing, many of the victims’ families attended and became emotional as they listened as Gendron pleaded guilty to all charges, the Associated Press reported. Several family members later shared how cold the request was as Gendron’s motive highlighted the deep-rooted problem of racism in America.
“His voice made me sick, but it showed me I was right.” Music by Everhart said whose 20-year-old son survived after being shot in the neck.
“This country has a problem. This country is violent by nature. It’s racist. And his voice showed me that.”
Gendron’s lawyers claim he now regrets the mass shooting.
“This crucial step represents a condemnation of the racist ideology that fueled his horrific acts on May 14,” Gendron’s lawyer said Brian Parker said. “We hope that a final resolution of the state’s charges will help refocus a little on the needs of the victims and the community.”