Family members of the victims who were killed during the Buffalo mass shooting spoke during state sentencing for Payton Gendron, the man sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing 10 people May 14, 2022.
During the tense and almost hostile victim impact statements, Barbara Mapps, the sister of Katherine Massey, one of the victims, gave an emotional statement aimed directly at Grendon, yelling at him profusely for taking her sister away.
“My sister Katherine Massey was a great person,” she yelled while waving and pointing directly toward Grendon.
“Kat didn’t hurt anybody. None of these families did. You gonna come to our city and decide you don’t like Black people. Man, you don’t know a damn thing about Black people,” as she slammed her hands against the podium in sheer anger.
“We’re human. We like our kids to go to good schools. We love our kids.”
Her words got so passionate that a man standing behind her pushed by her and tried to attack Grendon but was stopped by several officers before he could get to him.
Grendon was then immediately removed from the courtroom and sentencing was adjourned for a 10-minute recess. When court resumed, Judge Eagan expressed his empathy for the victim’s families but stressed proper conduct while speaking.
“I understand that emotion and I understand that anger, but we cannot have that in the courtroom,” Judge Eagan said as proceedings resumed. “I am prepared to give anyone that needs to speak an opportunity to speak and I know that you need to address some of your comments to the defendant, but we must conduct ourselves appropriately because we are all better than that.”
Other family members who lost loved ones during the Buffalo mass shooting also spoke during the victim impact statements.
“I’ll never forgive you,” said Deja Brown, the daughter of Andre Mackniel. “It wasn’t my dad’s time to go.”
“We wear red and black – red for the blood that he shed for his family and his community, and black because we are still grieving,” said Kimberly Salter, the wife of Aaron Salter. “You will reap what you sow, more than you sow.”
In November, Payton Gendron was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to domestic terrorism motivated by hate.
On May 14, Payton Gendron drove hours from his hometown in upstate New York before using an assault rifle to kill 10 Black people and injure several others at the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo. Those killed ranged from 32 to 86 years old.
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