BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) — Two months after the racist massacre at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue, the grocery store is set to reopen on Friday morning.
While there are many who are eager that the store is going to reopen, there are those who feel the store should remain closed.
“One side says it’s sacred ground and it should not reopen and they say it should be torn down, but I think on the other side, which I agree with is that this individual came to our neighborhood and did something horrible and try to weaken us,” said Cedric Holloway, the director of the Johnnie B. Wiley Pavilion.
According to a media release from Tops, media outlets will be able to view the inside of the store on Thursday afternoon. There will also be a moment of silence and a prayer for the victims, survivors and their families. Information on memorial displays and security will also be released.
Numerous renovations have been made for weeks.
Even with all the efforts, some say they have tried to keep their distance.
“I just try to stay away from this area after everything happened, kind of scary that situation, I’m glad I wasn’t out that day,” said Angela Wrege, who says she lives in the neighborhood and shopped for essential items at Tops prior to the shooting.
A petition has been created on Change.org to keep the Tops closed, so as to not re-traumatize people and for a memorial to go here.
Meanwhile, there are many who say they will not live in fear.
“It’s nothing, it is what it is, I ain’t fearing nothing, I’m going in there and shop,” said Mattie Ortiz, who also lives in the neighborhood.
There have been numerous efforts from grassroots organizations to get people what they need from groceries to personal care items. Tops set up shuttle buses for people to be taken to the company’s location on Elmwood Avenue.
People have been relying on those services and at times, these have been the only services for people to utilise.
On Friday, Tops says there will be a private prayer for associates before the store reopens.