The Buffalo Tops shooter has been sentenced to life in prison without parole


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by  Johnathan Franklin and Joe Hernandez, NPR

A memorial for the supermarket shooting victims outside the Tops Friendly Market in July, 2022. Joshua Bessex/AP

The 19-year-old white gunman who killed 10 Black people and injured three others at a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y., last year has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Erie County Court Judge Susan Eagan handed down the sentence during a hearing on Wednesday.

“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,” Eagan said.

“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,” she added.

Payton Gendron pleaded guilty in November to 15 criminal charges — including a first-degree domestic terrorism charge that comes with a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole — following the deadly racist attack at a Tops supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood…

Gendron is also scheduled to appear in federal court this week after being indicted on 27 charges, including 10 counts of hate crimes resulting in death, three counts of hate crimes involving an attempt to kill and one additional hate crimes count, along with 13 counts of using, carrying or discharging a firearm.

He originally pleaded not guilty to the federal charges, but according to his attorneys, the gunman was willing to plead guilty to the federal charges if prosecutors agreed to spare him the death penalty, CNN reported in December.

The attorney general will decide at a later date on whether to seek the death penalty, according to the Justice Department. Gendron has been held without bail since his arrest after the May 2022 shooting…

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