Mass Shooting in Buffalo, New York

Lyric LaFasto, staff reporter

On May 14, 2022, in Buffalo, New York a horrific mass shooting that left ten people  dead at Tops Supermarket was quickly dubbed “pure evil” and racially motivated by authorities.  On November 28, Payton S. Gendron, the alleged gunman, pleaded guilty to fifteen charges in  Buffalo’s State Supreme Court. The hate crime left the community grieving and brought attention  to the victim’s families, who claim our country has become inherently violent and racist. John  Flynn, the district attorney for Erie County, explained the sequence of events surrounding the  incident and labeled it a racist hate crime. “In just over two minutes the defendant, with the  intent to murder as many African Americans as he could, killed 10 innocent Black people and  attempted to kill three others,” Flynn explained in a press conference following the hearing. It  was revealed that Gendron used an illegally modified semiautomatic rifle for the attack. The  nineteen-year-old gunman faces murder, hate crime, and firearm charges that come with a  mandatory life sentence. Gendron confessed that he intentionally targeted Tops Supermarket  because it was in a particular ZIP code where mostly African Americans lived. According to the  store’s surveillance and footage from Gendron’s helmet during the attack, he pointed the rifle at a  White man. Because the man was White, Gendron did not shoot the man and instead murmured,  “I’m sorry.” Flynn thought this further demonstrated how the defendants’ attack was racially  motivated. Such a tragedy left the nation distraught and remains one of the most significant  events of 2022. Flynn expressed, “This racist murderer did not fulfill what he set out to  accomplish. He failed. He failed miserably because today this city, this community, is stronger  and better than it ever was, and we have shown the world that racism has no part in our  community.”