Buffalo supermarket to reopen on Friday after mass shooting

The Tops Friendly Markets store in Buffalo, New York, will reopen on Friday, about two months after a man killed 10 people and injured three others in a hate-fueled mass shooting.

Company officials said on Monday that the store would reopen “quietly and respectfully.” The store will hold a “moment of silence and prayer” for the victims and employees affected by the shooting.

Since the May 14 shooting, the store has been closed and has been completely renovated, officials said. The company and the City of Buffalo supported those affected by the shooting with financial assistance and donations.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul called the gunman a ‘white supremacist’ who terrorized New York’s second-largest city in a ‘ruthless’ ‘military-style execution’ as people shopped for goods. grocery.

The 18-year-old suspect traveled several hours across New York to carry out the shooting and is accused of specifically targeting black victims at Tops Friendly Market.

Eleven of the 13 people who were shot were black.

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Local officials say Tops Friendly Market was more than a place to buy groceries. As the only supermarket for miles, it became something of a community center on Buffalo’s East Side – where residents chatted with neighbors and caught up on people’s lives.

“That’s where we go to buy bread and stay for 15, 20 minutes because if you go and get a loaf of bread, you’re going to find four or five people that you know, we’re going to have a few conversations before we go. leave,” said Buffalo Ulysees Councilman O. Wingo, who represents the struggling black neighborhood, in May. “You feel good because this is your store.”

The suspect pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first degree murder, 10 counts of second degree murder as a hate crime and three counts of attempted murder as a hate crime in addition to the federal felony charges of hate.

Last month, a federal judge urged Justice Department attorneys to make a decision on whether to seek the death penalty for the suspect.

Local leaders pledged to restore spirit throughout the community after the devastating attack.

“To the families of the suffering victims and to the people of the Buffalo community, we are not going anywhere,” Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said after the shooting. “We are going to be with you today. We will be with you tomorrow and we will be there with you to rebuild.

Contributor: Associated Press

USA Today

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