Photo by Ruben R. Ramirez
Nearly three months after the shooting that took the lives of 22 shoppers and injured 26, the Cielo Vista Walmart reopened Thursday, November 14th.
As members of the press and law enforcement looked on, shoppers slowly made their way into the remodeled store. Cheers could be heard from the Walmart staffers inside.
Some Walmart team members and shoppers alike comforted each other as the reopening got underway.
One shopper who spoke with our crew said she felt a bit uneasy walking into to the store, but the feeling quickly went away, once she was inside and the staff welcomed her in.
Father Fabian Marquez, who visited the site a few weeks back, was invited back by Walmart team members to start the day with a prayer. Once the doors opened for the east-central store, it quickly filled with shoppers.
Many had feared that the store – the only large grocery store within walking distance for the nearby neighborhoods – would not be reopening.
The store reopening comes on the heels of the move of the memorial that overlooked the site for months, as city officials relocated the many of the items to a new, temporary memorial site a few blocks away at Ponder Park.
Walmart officials are also constructing a permanent memorial to the victims on the store’s property.
Our very own Ruben R. Ramirez and Johnny Yturales were there and we bring you their views of the reopening via this gallery and video.