- The Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, where 22 people died in a mass shooting was reopened on Thursday.
- The store had been closed since the shooting happened in August.
- “It’s time to move forward and go back to normal and serving our customers,” Walmart employee Gilbert Serna wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. Serna said he helped dozens of people to safety amid the shooting and has worked at the Walmart store for almost 19 years, CNN reported.
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Almost four months after a deadly shooting that killed 22 people in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart, employees are heading back to business as usual.
The Walmart where the shooting took place on August 3 reopened on Thursday after being closed for more than three months.
“It’s time to move forward and go back to normal and serving our customers,” Walmart employee Gilbert Serna wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. Serna became known as a hero after he told CNN that he helped dozens of people to safety during the shooting. Serna has worked at that Walmart store for almost 19 years, CNN reported.
In a Wednesday Facebook post, Serna described the resilience of the Walmart employees who “consciously decided that tragedy wasn’t going to get the better of them.”
He recounted his story to various media outlets.
“They were scared. I was scared,” he told BuzzFeed News. “We were all scared.”
At the store’s reopening ceremony, a banner with the hashtag #ElPasoStrong was unveiled on the side of the building, and employees and locals cheered and applauded as the doors opened, CNN reported.
Store manager Robert Evans told the El Paso Times on Thursday that he felt that reopening the store was beneficial to employees and customers.
“I really think that the ideal outcome is obviously to continue, to continue the healing process,” Evans told the El Paso Times.
A Walmart spokesperson said that the store had been updated and renovated in various ways, including adding new signs in the store, repaving the parking lot, and repainting the exterior.
“We are grateful to be part of such an incredible community that when faced with tragedy has responded with unity, compassion and love,” Todd Peterson, Walmart’s vice president and regional general manager, said in a statement in advance of the opening. “Over the last several weeks, our associates have been helping prepare store 2201 for opening and, as a reflection of the strength and resiliency of the El Paso community, the Cielo Vista Walmart will re-open to customers on Thurs. Nov. 14 at 9:00 a.m.”