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‘Stronger Together’: Bend’s Eastside Safeway quietly, busily reopens, weeks after tragedy

(Updated: adding video, comments from shoppers)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Many shoppers and well-wishers were on hand to welcome the reopening of the Eastside Safeway in northeast Bend Wednesday morning with a full parking lot and long checkout lines, more than two weeks after it became the scene of a violent tragedy shook the community.

Shoppers were busy and back to filling up their carts after a gunman opened fire in the store, killing two people and then himself on August 28.

A "Now Open" sign also emblazoned "Stronger Together" was placed on the side of the store as shoppers returned.

We spoke to a few people in the parking lot about their return to the store.

Tim Sutherland, a Bend resident, goes to the Eastside Safeway about twice a week -- and he's happy to be back.

"It was no different than ever before. I mean, there was no air of disaster. Everybody was just normal," Sutherland said.

David Snaeer says he usually goes to that Safeway almost every day, and noticed some changes.

"First thing, when you walk into the door, you run into a security guard, so that's different. It's like being in California," Snaeer said. "People just seem to be doing their normal thing in there, shopping -- this is usually a pretty busy store."

But Snaeer is glad it's open again.

"Because the convenience and everything. Plus, it was a shock to this area, and it's nice to see people kind of getting back into a routine again," he added.

The company issued a brief statement on the eve of the reopening, saying: "We are so grateful for our team members, as well as for the Bend community.  We will continue to provide our associates support during this difficult time."

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Carly Keenan

Carly Keenan is a multimedia journalist and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Carly here.


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