15 July 2022
BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo supermarket where the massacre took place is set to reopen Friday, just as the suspect is indicted on hate crime charges.
The renovated grocery store is ready for its parking lot fence to come down and customers to come back.
Inside, there is a memorial waterfall and windows with the names and photos of the ten lives lost, all of them Black.
They were at the store exactly two months ago when police say a white gunman racially targeted the store.
On behalf of Tops Friendly Markets, local pastor Darius Pridgen offered a prayer and moment of silence Thursday to honor the victims and their families.
The upstate New York community is still reeling, and residents are split over whether they will shop there again.
“I’m not scared or worried, but just out of respect of it being sacred ground, so to speak, I’m not quite sure. I might just let a couple days, a couple months go by and see if I will go back in,” resident Titus Taggert told CBS2’s Elijah Westbrook.
Nearly 400 people have signed a petition on Change.org demanding the store be torn down and a memorial park built in its place.
However, there are also locals who support the reopening of the only grocery store in their community. Over the last two months, many have had to rely on buses to stores in other neighborhoods or food giveaways.
“There’s a lot of people around here who are walkers,” resident Veronica Hamphill-Nichols said. “It’s not like we can get to another supermarket.”
Many Westbrook spoke with said they will be there for the reopening, unsure how they will feel but ready for the community transformation to begin.
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Author: Elijah Westbrook