How Wegmans Helped People After The Tops Markets Shooting

The Tops Market on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo, New York, will never be the same after a gunman opened fire in the parking lot and inside the store on Saturday, leaving 10 visitors dead and three more injured. While the suspect was taken into custody at the scene and police have stated they believe he acted on his own, the community is naturally still shaken, especially given the racially driven motivations behind the shooting, which some are calling a hate crime (via ABC News).

According to The Buffalo News, the Jefferson Avenue Tops was opened about 20 years ago to serve an area that had been before lacking in food and grocery supplies, and WGRZ further notes that many of these customers often walk or take public transportation to the Tops to buy their groceries. As the grocery store is now a crime scene and is closed for the foreseeable future, community organizations and businesses are coming together to ensure those who usually shop at the Tops have access to food and supplies through food banks and donation centers.

Wegmans handed out bottled water at the crime scene

One of the businesses that came to help initially at the crime scene was a New York state grocery institution: Wegmans. The Buffalo News staff reporter Matthew Spina took to his Twitter account to share a pic of a Wegmans pick-up truck labeled "Asset Protection" in the Tops parking lot, which he shared with the caption: "Wegmans delivers bottles of water to the crowd gathered outside the Tops Market on Buffalo's Jefferson Street after a mass shooting there." Erie News Now reported that Wegmans closed both its stores in nearby Erie, Pennsylvania, early on Saturday "out of respect for the victims."

Spina's tweet wasn't without controversy. One Twitter user replied with a comment that seemed to imply Wegmans would be against putting their own store in such a location, writing, "@wegmans won't put a store on the East Side which would make food more accessible and bring jobs, but yay bottled water." Others on the social media platform saw the gesture as wholesome. "Wegmans is all love for NY State," wrote another user, followed by a peace sign and red heart emojis.