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Renovated Buffalo market reopens 2 months after 10 died in shooting

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Police stand in the parking lot of the Tops supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., on May 15, one day after the shooting attack that killed 10 people. It reopened on Friday. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/049408904d5a1be06e4e9cef5a897208/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Police stand in the parking lot of the Tops supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., on May 15, one day after the shooting attack that killed 10 people. It reopened on Friday. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

July 15 (UPI) -- A supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., where a gunman killed 10 people in a mass shooting two months ago was scheduled to reopen on Friday after the owners renovated the building.

The May 14 shooting at the Tops Friendly market injured several other people and authorities say it was a hate crime attack that targeted Black shoppers.

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Police said the gunman, 19-year-old Peyton Gendron, used a high-powered rifle to target the shoppers and fired more than 60 rounds inside the store.

The grocery store made several upgrades for the reopening on Friday, including expanding its inventory. A new emergency evacuation alarm system and another emergency exit were also installed during the two-month closure.

Tops said about three-quarters of its employees are returning to the Buffalo store to work, but the rest haven't yet decided whether they're ready to return to their jobs there.

Bullet holes are seen in the glass of a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y., on May 15, one day after a gunman killed 10 shoppers in a mass shooting attack at the store. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI

The store is also planning to erect memorials inside and outside of the building.

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Burt Flickinger III of retail consultant Strategic ResourceGroup said that renovating and not razing the store was the right move.

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"It's really important to totally transform the store, especially since consumers really have no choices on the east side," Flickinger told Buffalo News. "You can't level the store. You can't wait years for the store to be rebuilt. But at the same time, visually, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically and commercially: the store needs to change inside and out."

Friday's reopening is the clearest sign yet of Buffalo's mostly Black community moving on from the deadly shooting.

On Thursday, a federal grand jury indicted Gendron on 27 counts of federal hate crimes. They include charges of hate crimes resulting in death, hate crimes involving an attempt to kill, hate crimes involving an attempt to kill other Black people and using a firearm in relation to hate crimes.

The shooting attack influenced new federal legislation in Congress for improvements to gun safety laws and a proposed alert system, similar to Amber Alerts, for active shooter situations.

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