BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Tops on Jefferson Avenue has officially reopened, but for many, the doors are opening too soon.
On May 14, 10 people were fatally shot and three others were injured in a mass shooting at the store. Every person killed was Black and the accused shooter is a suspected white supremacist.
On Thursday, the suspect was indicted on 27 federal counts. If convicted, he could spend life in prison and receive the death penalty.
Reaction to the store’s reopening has been mixed. On Friday morning, following a series of renovations, many people showed up with signs condemning the decision. One sign read “This is not food justice!” while another said “Two months is too soon to reopen these wounds.”
Voice Buffalo Vice Chair Jerome Wright said “We were assaulted and massacred. Now, we’re being held hostage, because we don’t have any choice.”
Others were pleased to see the store reopening, including some employees.
On Thursday, Tops officials offered a look inside the renovated store. Before this, community leaders and elected officials came together for a moment of silence and prayer.
Friday morning at 5 a.m., before the store reopened, an early morning worship service took place.
Inside and outside the store, new security measures have been put in place. A “water wall” memorial has been installed inside, and more memorials, inside and outside, are planned.
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