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Army veteran goes shopping at remodeled Jefferson Ave. Tops with Mayor

Patrick White and Mayor Brown go grocery shopping
Posted at 7:15 PM, Jul 17, 2022

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Tops Supermarket on Jefferson Ave. has come a long way.

"I think this is one of the nicest supermarkets in Erie County," Buffalo Mayor, Byron Brown said.

This past weekend marked the reopening of the newly renovated Tops, just two months after the shooting that killed 10 people.

Buffalo resident, Patrick White said it only helped the city grow.

“We went through a tragedy. We’re Buffalo Strong. Thank you everyone for all your thoughts,” White said.

White was a regular at the Jefferson Tops before the shooting. Before Sunday, he hadn't been back inside to see the newly remodeled store. That is until Mayor Brown wanted to take him there personally.

“Shopping with Mr. White was a blessing for me,” Brown said.

White is an Army veteran who served from 1979-1985. When he entered the new building, he couldn't believed what he saw.

“I was looking at the ceiling and looking around. The experience was just excellent,” White said

White is also partially paralyzed. One of the things that was so great about the Jefferson Ave. Tops before the shooting was the accessibility for all residents of Buffalo's Eastside.

“In this neighborhood, I would say 40-50% of people don’t drive. This store right here is very important to us,” White said.

When Tops was closed, there wasn't a consistent option for people like White to go to for food.

Now that it's open again, they can finally have a local staple back.

In terms of progress from here, Brown said the community can continue efforts like this to make even more change.

“People are talking about what they can do to help, what they can do to make a difference. Take a senior shopping,” Brown said.