Mass shooting Buffalo, NY 10 killed

spaminator

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Buffalo gunman pleads guilty in racist supermarket massacre
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Carolyn Thompson
Publishing date:Nov 28, 2022 • 23 hours ago • 4 minute read

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The white gunman who massacred 10 Black shoppers and workers at a Buffalo supermarket pleaded guilty Monday to murder and hate-motivated terrorism charges, guaranteeing he will spend the rest of his life in prison.


Payton Gendron, 19, entered the plea Monday in a courthouse roughly two miles from the grocery store where he used a semiautomatic rifle and body armour to carry out a racist assault he hoped would help preserve white power in the U.S.


Gendron, who was handcuffed and wore an orange jumpsuit, occasionally licked and clenched his lips as he pleaded guilty to all of the most serious charges in the grand jury indictment, including murder, murder as a hate crime and hate-motivated domestic terrorism, which carries an automatic sentence of life without parole.

He answered “yes” and “guilty” as Judge Susan Eagan referred to each victim by name and asked whether he killed them because of their race. Gendron also pleaded guilty to wounding three people who survived the May attack.


Many of the relatives of those victims sat and watched, some dabbing their eyes and sniffling. Speaking to reporters later, several said the plea left them cold. It didn’t address the bigger problem, which they said is racism in America.


“His voice made me feel sick, but it showed me I was right,” said Zeneta Everhart, whose 20-year-old son was shot in the neck but survived. “This country has a problem. This country is inherently violent. It is racist. And his voice showed that to me.”

After the roughly 45-minute proceeding ended, Gendron’s lawyers suggested that he now regrets his crimes, but they didn’t elaborate or take questions.

“This critical step represents a condemnation of the racist ideology that fueled his horrific actions on May 14,” said Gendron’s lawyer, Brian Parker. “It is our hope that a final resolution of the state charges will help in some small way to keep the focus on the needs of the victims and the community.”


Gendron’s parents, in their first public statement, said the guilty plea ensures their son will be held accountable. Paul and Pamela Gendron said they “pray for healing for everyone affected.” They thanked law enforcement authorities who investigated the case, adding they will “continue to provide any assistance we can.”

“We remain shocked and shattered to learn that our son was responsible for the hideous attack at the Tops grocery store on May 14, 2022,” said the emailed statement, which was provided to The Associated Press by their attorney.


Gendron has pleaded not guilty to separate federal hate crime charges that could result in a death sentence if he is convicted. The U.S. Justice Department has not said whether it will seek capital punishment. Acknowledgement of guilt and a claim of repentance could potentially help Gendron in a penalty phase of a death penalty trial.


The plea comes at a time when many Americans have become nearly desensitized to mass shootings. In recent weeks, there have been deadly attacks at a Walmart in Virginia, at a gay club in Colorado and at the University of Virginia.

Just days after Gendron’s rampage in Buffalo, a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at a school in Uvalde, Texas.

Gendron wore body armor and used a legally purchased AR-15 style rifle in his attack on the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo. Those killed ranged in age from 32 to 86 and included an armed security guard died trying to protect customers, a church deacon and the mother of a former Buffalo fire commissioner. Gendron surrendered when police confronted him as he emerged from the store.


Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, who was in the courtroom for Gendron’s guilty plea, told reporters afterwards that “It was important to hear why these precious lives were snatched from us for no other reason than the color of their skin.”

The mayor, a Democrat, called for a ban on assault weapons, as did Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia. Relatives of the victims reiterated their calls for Congress and the FBI to address white supremacy and gun violence. “We are literally begging for those in power to do something about it,” said Garnell Whitfield, whose 86-year-old mother, Ruth Whitfield, was killed.“

White supremacy was Gendron’s motive. He said in documents posted online just before the attack that he’d picked the store, about a three hour drive from his home in Conklin, New York, because it was in a predominantly Black neighborhood. He said he was motivated by a belief in a massive conspiracy to dilute the power of white people by “replacing” them in the U.S. with people of colour.


“Swift justice,” is how Erie County District Attorney John Flynn described Monday’s result, noting that it’s the first time anyone in the state of New York has been convicted of the hate-motivated terrorism charge. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 15.

Attorney Benjamin Crump, who represents several of the victims’ families, said they remain baffled that the gunman survived. They want harsh punishment, he said: “We want him to be treated as the heinous, cold blooded vicious murderer that he was for killing all these innocent Black people. It is emotional and we are angry.”

Mark Talley, the son of Geraldine Talley, who was killed, called on authorities to incarcerate him in Erie County, in the same community where he caused so much pain, so that he might face the same horror experienced by his victims. “I want that pain to eat at him every second of every day for the rest of his life,” Talley said.

Talley and Everhart said they were offended by Gendron’s tone and cleaned-up appearance in court. They said a Black defendant would have been treated differently. Gendron is a “thug,” they said.

“We show them in a way that doesn’t make them threatening, and it’s disgusting,” Everhart said.

“Am I happy he’s gong to jail for life?” Talley said. “What would make me happy is if America acknowledged its history of racism.”
 

spaminator

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White supremacist gets life in prison for Buffalo massacre
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Carolyn Thompson And Jennifer Peltz
Published Feb 15, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 5 minute read

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A white supremacist who killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket was sentenced to life in prison without parole Wednesday after relatives of his victims confronted him with pain and rage caused by his racist attack.


Anger briefly turned physical at Payton Gendron’s sentencing when a victim’s family member rushed at him from the audience. The man was quickly restrained; prosecutors later said he wouldn’t be charged. The proceeding then resumed with an emotional outpouring from people who lost loved ones or were themselves wounded in the attack.


Gendron, whose hatred was fueled by racist conspiracy theories he encountered online, cried during some of the testimony and apologized to victims and their families in a brief statement.

Their remarks ranged from sorrow to outrage, shouts to tears. Some vehemently condemned him; others quoted from the Bible or said they were praying for him. Several pointed out that he deliberately attacked a Black community a three-hour drive from his home in overwhelmingly white Conklin, New York.


“You’ve been brainwashed,” Wayne Jones Sr., the only child of victim Celestine Chaney, said as sobs rose from the audience. “You don’t even know Black people that much to hate them. You learned this on the internet.”

“I hope you find it in your heart to apologize to these people, man. You did wrong for no reason,” Jones said.


Gendron’s victims at the Tops Friendly Market — the only supermarket and a neighbourhood hub on Buffalo’s largely Black East Side — included a church deacon, the grocery store’s guard, a man shopping for a birthday cake, a grandmother of nine and the mother of a former Buffalo fire commissioner. The victims ranged in age from 32 to 86.

Gendron pleaded guilty in November to crimes including murder and domestic terrorism motivated by hate, a charge that carried an automatic life sentence.


“There can be no mercy for you, no understanding, no second chances,” Judge Susan Eagan said as she sentenced him. She called his rampage “a reckoning” for a nation “founded and built, in part, on white supremacy.”

Gendron, 19, is due in a federal court Thursday for a status update in a separate case that could carry a death sentence if prosecutors seek it. His attorney said in December that Gendron is prepared to plead guilty in federal court to avoid execution. New York state does not have the death penalty.





The gunman wore bullet-resistant armour and a helmet equipped with a livestreaming camera as he carried out the May 14 attack with a semiautomatic rifle he purchased legally but then modified so he could load it with illegal high-capacity ammunition magazines.

“Do I hate you? No. Do I want you to die? No. I want you to stay alive. I want you to think about this every day of your life,” Tamika Harper, a niece of victim Geraldine Talley, told Gendron. “Think about my family and the other nine families that you’ve destroyed forever.”

Gendron locked eyes with Harper as she gently spoke. Then he lowered his head and wept.

Minutes later, Barbara Massey Mapps excoriated him for killing her 72-year-old sister, Katherine Massey, a neighbourhood activist. As Mapps shouted and pointed at Gendron, a person in the audience took a few steps toward him before getting held back.

“You don’t know what we’re going through,” a man shouted as he was led away by court officers. For several minutes thereafter, family members hugged and calmed each other.

Eagan then ordered Gendron back in after admonishing everyone to behave appropriately.

In his short statement, Gendron acknowledged he “shot and killed people because they were Black.”

“I believed what I read online and acted out of hate, and now I can’t take it back, but I wish I could, and I don’t want anyone to be inspired by me,” he told the victims and their relatives. His own parents didn’t attend.

One woman in the audience stood up, screamed “we don’t need” his remarks and stormed out of the courtroom.

There were only three survivors among the 13 people he shot while specifically seeking out Black shoppers and workers.

Deja Brown said her father, Andre Mackniel, was blindsided “at the hands of a selfish boy who’s obviously not educated on the history of African Americans.”

Mackniel’s young son still calls for a father who was gunned down while shopping for a birthday cake for him, said his brother, Vyonne Elliott.

Christopher Braden, a Tops employee who was shot in the leg, said he was haunted by seeing the victims where they lay as he was carried out of the store.

“The visions haunt me in my sleep and every day,” he said.

In documents posted online, Gendron said he hoped the attack would help preserve white power in the U.S. He wrote that he picked the Tops grocery store because it is in a predominantly Black neighbourhood. Prosecutor Justin Caldwell said Gendron hoped to start a race war, but instead the community came together.

Reacting from Washington, NAACP President Derrick Johnson called on federal leaders to acknowledge “the constant threat of violence” to Black communities and urged the media to stop spreading misinformation that feeds racist conspiracy theories.

The mass shooting in Buffalo, soon followed by another that killed 19 students and two teachers at a Texas elementary school, amplified calls for stronger gun controls.

New York legislators quickly passed a law banning semiautomatic rifle sales to most people under age 21. The state also banned sales of some types of body armour.

In June, President Joe Biden, a Democrat, signed a compromise gun violence bill intended to toughen background checks, keep firearms from more domestic violence offenders and help states make it easier for authorities to take weapons from people adjudged to be dangerous.

— Peltz reported from New York. AP National Writer Aaron Morrison contributed from New York.
 

Tecumsehsbones

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I heard on the radio last night that he’s getting 10 consecutive life sentences. So he serves the first sentence, and upon his death, the second consecutive life sentence starts.
Basically they do that so that if, sometime in the future, they reduce the amount of time you have to serve before you're eligible for parole, he'll still die in prison.
 

spaminator

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Buffalo mass shooting witnesses sue social media companies, gun industry for trauma
'For the rest of my life, I will have it in my mind'

Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Michael Hill
Published Aug 17, 2023 • 3 minute read

YouTube, Reddit and a body armor manufacturer were among the businesses that helped enable the gunman who killed 10 Black people in a racist attack at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket, according to a pair of lawsuits announced Wednesday.


The complementary lawsuits filed by Everytown Law in state court in Buffalo claim that the massacre at Tops supermarket in May 2022 was made possible by a host of companies and individuals, from tech giants to a local gun shop to the gunman’s parents.


The suits were filed Tuesday on behalf of the son of a 65-year-old victim and a group of survivors who say they’re still traumatized more than a year later. Everytown Law is the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund.

“I still live with those images every day. It’s a part of my life. For the rest of my life, I will have it in my mind,” Fragrance Harris Stanfield, who was working that day at Tops, said at a news conference. She is among the 16 employees and other survivors who are plaintiffs in one of the suits.


The other lawsuit was bought on behalf of Wayne Jones, the son of Celestine Chaney, who was killed while shopping for strawberry shortcake ingredients with her older sister.

Payton Gendron was 18 years old when he opened fire at the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo on May 14, 2022, killing 10 Black people and wounding three other people. He had driven 200 miles (322 kilometers) from his home in Conklin, New York, after conducting online research to choose a target.

The lawsuits accuse the defendants of helping provide motivation, equipment or knowledge to the gunman.

RMA Armament is named for providing the body armor Gendron wore during the shooting. Vintage Firearms of Endicott, New York, is singled out for selling the shooter the weapon used in the attack. The lawsuit claims Mean LLC manufactured an easily removable gun lock, offering a way to circumvent New York laws prohibiting assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.


YouTube, named with parent companies Alphabet Inc. and Google, is accused of contributing to the gunman’s radicalization and helping him acquire information to plan the attack. Similarly, the lawsuits claim Reddit promoted extreme content and offered a specialized forum relating to tactical gear.

Paul and Pamela Gendron, meanwhile, “abdicated their duties” as parents of a son with history of disturbing behavior, the lawsuits allege.

“We aim to change the corporate and individual calculus so that every company and every parent recognizes they have a role to play in preventing future gun violence,” said Eric Tirschwell, executive director of Everytown Law.

Calls, emails and a text seeking comment were sent to the defendants or their attorneys.


A spokesperson for YouTube said they had the “deepest sympathies” for the victims and survivors.

“Through the years, YouTube has invested in technology, teams, and policies to identify and remove extremist content. We regularly work with law enforcement, other platforms, and civil society to share intelligence and best practices,” spokesperson Jose Castaneda said in an email.

The operator of Vintage Firearms texted that he had no comment.

Gendron is serving a prison sentence of life without parole after pleading guilty to crimes including murder and domestic terrorism motivated by hate. A federal criminal hate crimes case is still pending, as U.S. Justice Department officials consider whether to seek the death penalty if Gendron is convicted.

Multiple lawsuits have been filed in the shooting’s wake. Last month, victims’ relatives filed a lawsuit claiming tech and social media giants such as Facebook, Amazon and Google bear responsibility for radicalizing Gendron.
 

spaminator

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Prosecutors to seek death penalty for white supremacist who killed 10 at Buffalo supermarket
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Carolyn Thompson
Published Jan 12, 2024 • Last updated 1 day ago • 3 minute read

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Federal prosecutors said Friday that they will seek the death penalty against a white supremacist who killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket.


Payton Gendron, 20, is already serving a sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole after he pleaded guilty to state charges of murder and hate-motivated domestic terrorism in the 2022 attack.


New York does not have capital punishment, but the Justice Department had the option of seeking the death penalty in a separate federal hate crimes case. Gendron had promised to plead guilty in that case if prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty.


The decision marks the first time that President Joe Biden’s Justice Department has authorized a new pursuit of the death penalty.

Gendron drove more than 200 miles (320 kilometers) from his home in rural Conklin, New York, to a Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo’s largely Black East Side neighborhood, where he shot eight supermarket customers, the store security guard and a church deacon who drove shoppers to and from the store with their groceries. Three people were wounded but survived.


In court papers announcing the decision to seek the death penalty, Trini Ross, the U.S. attorney for western New York, cited the substantial planning that went into the shooting, including the choice of location, which she said was meant to “maximize the number of Black victims.”

Relatives of the victims — who ranged in age from 32 to 86 — have expressed mixed views on whether they thought federal prosecutors should pursue the death penalty. Mark Talley, whose 63-year-old mother, Geraldine Talley, was killed, said he “wasn’t necessarily disappointed” by the decision, even if he would have preferred Gendron spend his life behind bars.

“It would have satisfied me more knowing he would have spent the rest of his life in prison being surrounded by the population of people he tried to kill,” Talley said.


In a joint statement, attorneys for some of victims’ relatives said the decision “provides a pathway to both relief and a measure of closure for the victims and their families.”

An attorney for Gendron, Sonya Zoghlin, said she was “deeply disappointed” by the government’s decision to seek the death penalty, noting that her client was 18 at the time of the shooting.

“Rather than a prolonged and traumatic capital prosecution, the efforts of the federal government would be better spent on combatting the forces that facilitated this terrible crime, including easy access to deadly weapons and the failure of social media companies to moderate the hateful rhetoric and images that circulate online,” Zoghlin said in a statement.


Federal death penalty cases have become a rarity since the election of Biden, a Democrat who opposes capital punishment. Under the leadership of Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Justice Department has permitted the continuation of two capital prosecutions and withdrawn from pursuing death in more than two dozen cases.

Garland instituted a moratorium on federal executions in 2021 pending a review of procedures. Although the moratorium does not prevent prosecutors from seeking death sentences, the Justice Department has done so sparingly.

It successfully sought the death penalty for an antisemitic gunman who murdered 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue, though that attack was authorized as a death penalty case before Garland took office. It also went ahead last year with an effort to get the death sentence against an Islamic extremist who killed eight people on a New York City bike path, though a lack of a unanimous jury meant that prosecution resulted in a life sentence.


The Justice Department has declined to pursue the death penalty in other mass killings, including against the gunman who killed 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

Gendron carried out his attack on May 14, 2022, using a semi-automatic marked with racial slurs and phrases including “The Great Replacement,” a reference to a conspiracy theory that there’s a plot to diminish the influence of white people.

Prosecutors met Friday with several family members of victims before the decision to seek the death penalty was made public.

Pamela Pritchett, whose 77-year-old mother, Pearl Young, was killed in the attack, said the mood was somber.

“I will be scarred. Everybody, every family, the community of the East Side, we’re all gonna be scarred,” she said. “For me, my goal is to look at the scar and know that I am healed.”

Gendron did not appear at a status conference held Friday afternoon.

— Associated Press writers Jake Offenhartz in New York and Lindsay Whitehurst in Washington contributed to this report.
 

Tecumsehsbones

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Fun Fact: When a person is tried in a Federal court, convicted, and sentenced to death, if it's in a state that does not have a death penalty, the Federal government will move the convict to a Federal prison in state that does have the death penalty, and execute the convict there (provided the convict doesn't die of old age waiting).
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

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Fun Fact: When a person is tried in a Federal court, convicted, and sentenced to death, if it's in a state that does not have a death penalty, the Federal government will move the convict to a Federal prison in state that does have the death penalty, and execute the convict there (provided the convict doesn't die of old age waiting).
Doesn't New York State still have the death penalty on the books but hasn't executed anybody in decades? Or did they finally get rid of it entirely?
 

Retired_Can_Soldier

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I know this is from a while back, but my wife and I shopped regularly there, when we lived in Ontario. Almost every other weekend we'd cross the border. We loved this Tops store, we would buy all sorts of things there that they don't sell in Canada.

Very sad.