NATIONAL NEWS

Buffalo supermarket to reopen 2 months after mass shooting

Jul 14, 2022, 6:04 AM | Updated: 2:33 pm
FILE: Police and FBI agents continue their investigation of the shooting at Tops market on May 15, ...
FILE: Police and FBI agents continue their investigation of the shooting at Tops market on May 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. A gunman opened fire at the store, killing ten people and wounding another three. The attack was believed to be motivated by racial hatred. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo supermarket where 10 Black people were killed by a white gunman is set to reopen its doors to the public Friday, two months after the racist attack.

A moment of silence and prayer will be held Thursday at Tops Friendly Market to honor the victims, employees and community impacted by the May 14 mass shooting, with a ceremonial reopening of the overhauled store before customers return Friday, the company said.

Ten Black people were killed when a then-18-year-old gunman wearing body armor and carrying a semi-automatic rifle opened fire on weekend shoppers and employees. Three people were wounded in the massacre.

Investigators say the shooter was motivated by white supremacist beliefs and researched the demographics of the predominantly Black neighborhood where the market is located with the intent of killing as many Black people as possible. He drove for more than three hours from his home in Conklin, New York, to carry out the attack, authorities said.

The decision to reopen, rather than relocate, the store has been met with mixed emotions in the East Buffalo neighborhood that, beset by high poverty, fought for years to get a grocery store. Since opening in 2003, the Tops location remains the only supermarket in the immediate area. Its closure in the wake of the shooting forced many residents to take buses to other locations or rely on stopgap measures like neighborhood giveaways to access fresh food.

“We must go on,” said Tops employee Rosalie Bishop, who has worked at the store for 12 years. She wants the store open again — and never for a moment considered not returning to work with colleagues who she considers family.

“The store is there for a reason. The store is still there for a reason,” said Bishop, 58, who was on her way to work when the shooting happened and said she’s still processing her near miss. “The people will come back. They might not come today or tomorrow, but they will come back.”

Other neighbors say reopening isn’t the best path forward.

Suggestions to local media and on social networks include turning the site into a park or recreational center that would bring the community together, or having several supermarkets that are more dispersed throughout Buffalo’s East Side.

Some simply can’t imagine entering a store where such terrible events took place.

The shooter, Payton Gendron, was arrested just outside the store’s front entrance. He is charged with numerous counts, including federal hate crime charges punishable by the death penalty, and has pleaded not guilty to state and federal charges.

Authorities say the gunman was motivated by white supremacist beliefs, including a baseless conspiracy theory about a plot to diminish the influence of white people. He chronicled his plans for months in an online diary, authorities said, and livestreamed the attack via a helmet camera.

Mayor Byron Brown said he was apprehensive while first touring the remodeled store but believes the overhaul will be helpful to customers.

“I realize that not everyone will feel comfortable returning to the store,” he said in a statement, adding that he is encouraging other retailers to serve the area.

“None of us will ever forget the cruel, racist attack,” Brown said. The reopening is a step toward healing, he said.

Bishop already has returned to the store to help prepare. Her first day went smoothly, but a security drill with flashing lights on the second day sent her home, shaken, mid-shift. Still, she said she is not afraid for her safety.

“I just want peace. I just want peace,” Bishop said. “It’ll never go back to the way it was. We’re not looking for the way it was. But peace.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

A 29-year old woman has been arrested after allegedly posing as a teenager and attending classes at...
Kiely Westhoff and Zoe Sottile, CNN

29-year-old woman posed as high school teen facing charges in New Jersey, police say

A 29-year-old New Jersey woman is facing charges over claims she used false government documents in a ploy to pose as a teenager at a high school, according to police.
15 hours ago
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an election night event at Mar-a-Lago on November ...
Meg Kinnard and Michelle L. Price

Trump says beating of Nichols ‘never should have happened’

Former President Donald Trump says the footage of the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers is “horrible” and that the attack “never should have happened.”
2 days ago
One the of climbers in the training camp climbing a wall. (KSL-TV's Alex Cabrero)...
Alex Cabrero

USA Climbing Camp for Paris 2024 begins in Salt Lake City

As the Summer 2024 Olympic Games draws closer, those athletes looking to participate begin their training. 
2 days ago
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 7:  Police investigate the scene of a reported carjacking reportedly...
Adrian Sainz

Memphis police disband unit that fatally beat Tyre Nichols

The Memphis Police Department has disbanded the special unit whose officers beat to death motorist Tyre Nichols
2 days ago
Demonstrators participate in a protest against the police killing of Tyre Nichols on January 27, 20...
Adrian Sainz, Associated Press

Memphis authorities release video in Tyre Nichols’ death

Video showing five Memphis officers beating Tyre Nichols, a Black man, has been made public.
3 days ago
An apparent shortage of pharmacists is forcing CVS and Walmart to reduce the hours of its pharmacie...
Jordan Valinsky

CVS and Walmart cut pharmacy hours, close some locations earlier, citing staffing shortage

An apparent shortage of pharmacists is forcing CVS and Walmart to reduce the hours of its pharmacies, as they close earlier in thousands of locations.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Buffalo supermarket to reopen 2 months after mass shooting