BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A white supremacist who killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after listening to relatives of his victims express the pain and rage caused by his racist attack.
The sentencing hearing for Payton Gendron was disrupted briefly when he was charged by a man in the audience, who was quickly restrained. It resumed after about 10 minutes, with more emotional testimony from people who talked about losing loved ones in the attack.
Peyton Gendron, whose hatred was fueled by racist conspiracy theories he encountered online, cried during some of the testimony and apologized to victims in a brief statement.
He pleaded guilty in November to crimes including murder and domestic terrorism motivated by hate, a charge that carried an automatic life sentence.
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Gendron, 19, wore bullet-resistant armor 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.
Gendron also faces separate federal charges that could carry a death sentence if the U.S. Justice Department chooses to seek it. His defense attorney said in December that Gendron is prepared to plead guilty in federal court as well to avoid execution.