By: Nina Samone
On Friday morning, July 15th, the Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue has officially reopened its doors.
Just two months ago, the Tops was the place where a horrendous racially motivated mass shooting took place, claiming the lives of ten Buffalo community members – all Black – and injuring three others.
There are many mixed emotions in the community, especially today at Tops. On the sidewalks, peaceful protestors and community members have gathered to voice their concerns.
Many gathered holding signs in protest of the Tops reopening, reading things like, “This is not food justice,” and “2 months is too soon to reopen these wounds.”
One man, Glenn Pratcher, was walking his daughter to school when he stopped and spoke with news reporters. “They should have torn this Tops down, built a new one somewhere else in our community,” said Pratcher after referencing the memorial that was made after 9-11.
Others were glad, and even excited that the Tops would reopen.
Dale “Ricky” McHerrin arrived early in the morning to get a job application, stating that he wouldn’t let anyone scare him from being comfortable in his community.
The Buffalo Peacemakers and many Buffalo families came to show love and support to those community members returning to work.
After a morning prayer, the Tops officially opened its doors for the first time since the shooting took place. There are new security measures, a beautiful “water wall” memorial and plans for numerous other memorials inside and outside to be planned.
The shooter was indicted on Thursday on 27 federal counts and could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted – he may even be on death row.
Williams, Jhas & Anstey, Evan. July 15th, 2022. WIVB 4 Buffalo. “Jefferson Avenue Tops opens to mixed reaction.” <https://www.wivb.com/news/buffalo-supermarket-mass-shooting-tops/jefferson-avenue-tops-opens-to-mixed-reaction/>