81°F
weather icon Clear

Walmart to rebuild interior, reopen El Paso store after mass shooting

EL PASO, Texas — Walmart plans to reopen the El Paso store where 22 people were killed in a mass shooting this month, the retail giant said Thursday, but the entire interior of the building will first be rebuilt.

The renovated store will include an on-site memorial honoring the victims of the shooting, many of whom were Latino, and recognizing the “binational relationship between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez” just across the border in Mexico, Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said. The project is expected to take three to four months.

Nearly all of the 400 employees at the El Paso store have been reassigned to other nearby locations, Hargrove said, and the Arkansas-based company believes reopening the store is “an important step in healing from this tragedy.”

“Nothing will erase the pain of Aug. 3 and we’re hopeful that reopening the store will be another testament to the strength and resiliency that has characterized the El Paso community in the wake of this tragedy,” Hargrove said.

Flowers, crosses and handwritten messages now adorn a makeshift memorial outside one of the store’s entrances. Hundreds of residents have visited in the wake of the shooting, where social workers hand out bottled water and offer counseling services.

Many shoppers from Ciudad Juarez went there because it is the closest Walmart to the four border bridges that connect to El Paso. Eight of the people killed in the shooting were Mexican citizens. The vast majority had Hispanic names.

Authorities took more than 10 days to finish processing evidence before returning control of the property to Walmart.

In the days after the shooting, Hargrove said the company is reviewing security protocols. Walmart launched computer-based active shooter training in 2015 and has since increased frequency of its instruction and added a virtual reality component .

Police said the suspected gunman, Patrick Crusius, confessed to targeting Mexicans in the attack. They’ve also said that the suspected shooter is the likely author of an anti-Latino screed published shortly before the shooting. It criticized race-mixing and called Hispanics “invaders.”

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Walmart to stop selling electronic cigarettes at all stores

Walmart says it will stop selling electronic cigarettes at its namesake stores and Sam’s Clubs following a string illnesses and deaths related to vaping.

Attacked Saudi oil facility shows scorches, shrapnel blasts

The heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry remained wrapped in scaffolding Friday as workers sought to repair the charred innards and shrapnel-blasted arteries caused by drone-and-cruise-missile attacks that raised tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

Young protesters worldwide demand climate change action

From Canberra to Kabul and Cape Town to Berlin and across the globe, hundreds of thousands of young people took the streets Friday to demand that leaders tackle climate change in the run-up to a U.N. summit.

Philippines confirms 2nd polio case, 1 day after outbreak

Philippine health officials on Friday confirmed a second case of polio in a 5-year-old child a day after declaring the country’s first outbreak in nearly two decades, and announced plans for a massive immunization program.

Trump defends himself repeatedly against whistleblower’s complaint

President Donald Trump defended himself Friday against a whistleblower’s complaint, including a reported private conversation with a foreign leader. Meanwhile, the administration plunged into a showdown with Congress over access to the complaint.

US military to give Trump broad response options on Iran

The Pentagon will present a broad range of military options to President Donald Trump on Friday as he considers how to respond to what administration officials say was an unprecedented Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry.

Imelda kills 3 in Texas, hundreds stranded and trapped

Parts of Texas remained underwater Friday after the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda soaked the Houston area, leaving at least two people dead and prompting hundreds of rescues for people trapped during a relentless downpour.