Tops unveils 5/14 Honor Space on anniversary of mass shooting

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Tuesday morning, on the second anniversary of the Tops mass shooting, the store revealed its new 5/14 Honor Space at the corner of Jefferson and Landon.

“Built and designed in collaboration with local partners and community members, it will serve as a place of honor, solace, and reflection as the community continues its healing process,” Tops said.

The newly-unveiled space was built by local construction firm 34 Group. At the center of it is a sculpture created by Buffalo-based artist Valeria Cray and her son Hiram, a faculty member at SUNY Corning. It’s called “Unity.”

Additionally, the space features 10 granite honor bollards, in memory of the 10 people killed in the racially motivated attack at the Jefferson Avenue store.

News 4 spoke with Buffalo Common Council Majority Leader Leah Halton-Pope, who represents the city’s Ellicott District, on the morning of its unveiling.

“I think it’s a beacon of hope in the neighborhood, in the community,” Halton-Pope said. “I think it’s a moment for reflection and gives families, community members a place to go to…It’s a little bit challenging, I won’t lie, but as long as the family members feel that it is an honorable space, I’m good with it, and from what I understand, they are.”

“Chills. I still feel chills from that day that my daughter called me,” Buffalo FATHERS President Lenny Lane told us Tuesday morning.

He went on to say “We hope healing can come out of this…the wounds are still fresh for a lot of us.”

On Tuesday, the Jefferson Avenue Tops will be open until Noon, but will temporarily close from then until 4 p.m. for a dedication ceremony. In the middle of this ceremony, there will be a moment of silence and the tolling of bells at 2:28 p.m.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.

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