Tops says store where mass shooting happened will reopen, but timeline is unclear

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WHEC) — Police, Buffalo’s mayor, and the president of Tops Markets held a news conference Thursday where they shared updates on the police investigation into the mass shooting that happened at the Jefferson Avenue location on Saturday, and plans for the store itself.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it is finished collecting evidence at the scene.

The suspect, Payton Gendron, made a brief court appearance on Thursday but we have no word yet on what a grand jury came up with when it considered the case on Wednesday.

Investigators have turned the store back over to Tops, and President John Persons said it will reopen, although he can’t say when.

Police said they will reduce the perimeter around the scene, Jefferson will reopen and their work at the scene will be less intrusive but they want the community to know they are still there and people will be able to feel safe.

"We have to take our neighborhood back, we have to take our stores back," said Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia. "There’s grocery stores, multiple grocery stores through the city and we have to push back and we have to live and survive and we’re going to push back against this, so, our officers are committed."

"I will not rest until this individual spends the rest of his life in jail or if the death penalty does get reinstated by the president at the federal level, that’s the only way justice is going to occur," said John Garcia Erie County Sheriff.

Persons said it could be a while before the store reopens, and while he knows it’s important in this community, it’s not clear yet what condition it will be in when the company is able to get back inside, and there could be a lot of work to do.

That Tops was the neighborhood’s only grocery store. Click here to learn how you can help.

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Students at Monroe Community College held a remembrance ceremony Thursday afternoon.

"I really related to this," said freshman Kalina Kron. "My boyfriend is black, and it really hit home ‘cus I thought ‘What if I was in that store with him? What if we were together and what would happen to us?’ It’s just so important to bring awareness to issues like human rights where people shouldn’t be attacked because of their race."

Prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts is among MCC’s top five goals for this year, and beyond.