The Tops Friendly Markets store in Buffalo, New York, will reopen Friday, about two months after a man killed 10 people and injured three more in a hate-fueled mass shooting.
Company officials announced Monday that the store will reopen “quietly and respectfully.” The store will hold a “moment of silence and prayer” for victims and employees impacted by the shooting.
Since the May 14 shooting, the store has been closed and was fully remodeled, according to officials. The company and the city of Buffalo have supported those affected by the shooting through financial assistance and donations.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul called the gunman a “white supremacist” who terrorized New York’s second-largest city in a “cold-hearted,” “military-style execution” as people were buying groceries.
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 the 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 a sort of community hub on Buffalo’s East Side — where residents chatted with neighbors and caught up on people’s lives.
“It’s where we go to buy bread and stay for 15, 20 minutes because if you just go in for a loaf of bread, you’re going to find four or five people you know, we’re going to have a couple of conversations before you leave,” Buffalo City Councilman Ulysees O. Wingo, who represents the struggling Black neighborhood, said in May. “You just feel good because this is your store.”
The suspect has pleaded not guilty on 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 federal hate crime charges.
Last month, a federal judge urged Justice Department lawyers to reach a decision on whether they will seek the death penalty for the suspect.
Local leaders pledged to rebuild spirit throughout the community after the devastating attack.
“To the victims’ families who are hurting and to the people of the Buffalo community, we’re not going anywhere,” Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said following the shooting. “We’re going to be with you today. We’re going to be with you tomorrow and we’re going to be there with you to rebuild.”
Contributing: Associated Press