The Tops grocery store where the mass shooting took place is extremely important to the Buffalo community.
That’s because the area of Buffalo is considered a food desert where Tops is all that they have.
On Thursday the president of Tops said that the store will “reopen.”
Here is more on what this means for the victims and their families and how a community can move past such a horrific event.
We spoke to community leaders about what the next steps are for victims, families, and the community to heal from this trauma.
Zeneta Everhart’s 20-year-old son Zaire was shot on Saturday while working at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo.
Police state that an 18-year-old gunman opened fire in a racially motivated attack that killed 10 people.
Zaire and two others survived their injuries.
“I’m going to go back. I’m going to go back to Tops on Jefferson that’s our neighborhood store,” said Zeneta Everhart, Victim’s Mom.
Zaire won’t be returning to work at Tops, but in time Everhart said they will shop at the store again.
“This is my community. We don’t have a lot of grocery stores on the east side of Buffalo which is ridiculous in itself. People have to go there. So yeah I shop there and I want that grocery store to stay there. I need that grocery store to stay there,” said Everhart.
It’s unclear when the stores will reopen, but the president and CEO of Tops said that they are not giving up on the community.
Going back to that store may be difficult, if not impossible for some, but community leaders said that it’s an important step in healing.
“We cannot allow the ridiculous activities of godless people to dictate where we go, to dictate our future, and we are people that are resilient and a sense of courage, and we have to go on and move on,” said Bishop Dwane Brock, Chief Executive Officer of Eagles Nest Leadership Organization.
For victims in the Buffalo shooting, the executive director of the Crime Victim Center said that the first step to healing is to go back to the place where the tragic event occurred.
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“When they come together and support each other, and for that Tops, I think that’s a very positive movement because again they’re not hiding from something that happened. They’re realizing it. They’re supporting each other, and that’s one of the first steps into moving beyond trauma,” said Paul Lukach, Executive Director of Crime Victim Center.
Brock will be speaking at prayer service against racism and violence at Sacred Heart Parish on May 26.