By: Dwayne landers
The Tops Friendly Markets location on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo will be closed one year to the date of the racist mass shooting that took the lives of 10 Black people at the store last May and resulted in injuries to three additional victims.
The store will be closed on Sunday, May 14, reopening the following day at 7 a.m. with normal operating hours. On that day, Tops will provide a free bus service from the Jefferson store parking lot to the Elmwood Avenue location every hour on the hour from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“One year later, our hearts still ache for the victims, survivors, their families and our community, and we reflect with gratitude for everyone who responded to this hateful, racist attack with abundant love for our neighbors,” said Tops President John Persons. “Our collective healing is helped by the way people in Western New York came together and the way we continue to show up for each other.” With emotions still raw, victims’ families confront racist mass shooter at sentencing
Tops is also working to install a permanent memorial at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Landon Street later this year. According to the store, the memorial’s design process was led by local firm Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect, PC, with input from the Honor Space Planning Committee, which consists of community members, survivors, family members of the victims, and Tops associates.
The memorial comes in addition to New York State’s May 14 Memorial Commission, which is working on a structure to memorialize the lives and legacies of those who died in last year’s shooting.
“We are inspired by the ongoing resiliency of our associates, who have helped us carry forward the mission we’ve maintained since first opening this store: serving the needs of our community,” Persons said. “As we remember the lives lost and altered on that day, we deepen our resolve to support and uplift the Jefferson Avenue community.”