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LISTEN ON DEMAND: THIS AMERICAN LIFE tribute to the 10 killed in the Tops Market shootings.

'It did have an impact on me': Buffalo Mayor visits transformed Jefferson Avenue Tops, updates on reopening plans

At least 10 people were killed Saturday in a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y.
John Normile
Getty Images
At least 10 people were killed Saturday in a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said he anticipates a late-July reopening of the Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue. Brown made the statement Tuesday following a tour of the site where 10 people were murdered and three others wounded in a racist attack on shoppers May 14.

It was the first time Brown, who said he and members of his family shop at the store “periodically,” had stepped foot in the store since that day.

“I have to honestly say it did have an impact on me,” he said of walking through the doors of the supermarket. “I did feel some trepidation, some concern going back in.”

But it will not be the same looking Tops Market frequent shoppers were accustomed to as the store continues to go through an extensive renovation process.

Byron Brown Tops reopening update 6-28-22
Thomas O'Neil-White
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown (right) updates the media on reopening plans for the Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue.

“The store looks completely different inside,” Brown said. “It does not look like the same store on the interior. And there are also substantial exterior renovations being done. I'm pleased with how top says listen to their customers, listen to the community, listen to their employees. And they have really done a good job in renovating the store and making the store look like a new supermarket.”

Brown acknowledged that many people may feel the same way he did when entering the store and some people may never shop there again.

“Everyone is not going to feel comfortable coming back to the store. And we certainly understand that,” he said.

Store security will be bolstered but Brown said he will wait for Tops to provide further details.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.