Buffalo grocery store where massacre took place reopens as shooter charged with hate crimes

The grocery store in Buffalo, New York, where ten black people were killed by a white gunman, reopened for the first time on Friday.

On May 14, ten people died and three people were injured in the massacre at Tops Friendly Market in the predominantly black neighborhood of East Buffalo.

A minute of silence and prayers took place Thursday at the market before reopening on Friday.

The grocery store had long been the neighborhood’s only full-service supermarket, and its closure had a significant impact on residents.

Buffalo is one of the most segregated cities in the United States, and the suspected shooter, Patyon Gendron, told authorities he targeted the neighborhood because of its racial demographics.

Gendron drove more than three hours from his home in Conklin, New York, near the Pennsylvania border, to carry out the attack, allegedly motivated by white supremacy.

On Thursday, a federal grand jury indicted Gendron on hate crimes charges, punishable by death.

The teen, who also faces state charges, has pleaded not guilty.

According to Associated Press, the reopening of the grocery store has been controversial, with some advocating that the site be turned into a park or recreation center. Others, however, believe the store’s place in the community is worth preserving.

“The store is there for a reason. The store is still here for a reason,” said Rosalie Bishop, 58, a longtime Tops employee. P.A.. “People will come back. They may not come today or tomorrow, but they will come back.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown agreed, writing in a statement that reopening the store is a step in the community’s healing process.

“As I entered the market recently to see the total physical overhaul, I initially felt a little apprehensive, and I think that’s a completely normal reaction. But seeing the great work Tops did to completely redo and modernize the entire interior of the store made me feel much better, and I think these significant changes will be helpful to those who rely on this store as “their Tops.” for many years,” the statement read.

The grocery store was renovated following the attack, with a new floor plan and additional security features.

Mr. Brown also noted that his administration is aware that a number of East Buffalo residents will not feel comfortable returning to the store and that they are working with “other food retailers in the community to helping them serve East Buffalo residents and grow their businesses.” “.