EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Cielo Vista Sam’s Club is back open after the mass shooting happened next door at the Walmart on Aug. 3.
The store re-opened its doors for the first time since the tragedy on Friday.
Market Manager Daniel Martinez released the following statement:
El Paso Members,
On behalf of everyone at Sam’s Club, I want to appreciate you for your outpouring of support and kindness following the tragic incident that occurred next door to our store. We continue to work to aid those in need and our hearts remain with the victims and their families.
Our club at 7001 Gateway Blvd W has re-opened thanks to the hard work of our amazing associates and support of our members and community. Our associates are so happy to be back together and doing what they do best – taking care of members like you. For the time being, you’ll have to access this Sam’s Club store from Gateway Blvd or Westmoreland Drive as Sunmount Drive and Edison Way are still closed.
Again, our sincerest thanks for your support and we hope to see you soon! #elpasostrong
One shopper who lives in the area tells KTSM she drove in the store parking lot moments after the shooting and says her first time back hasn’t been easy.
“I thought it had already been open; I was just really saddened that it was empty,” Laura Gonzalez said. “It didn’t feel like a Saturday because I usually do my shopping on a Saturday really early, and today I decided to come a little later.”
Shoppers say there was an increase in security by the store’s entrances.
The reopening comes days after a spokesperson told KTSM the neighboring Walmart will reopen in the next three to four months.
The store’s interior will be completely renovated, and a special memorial honoring the 22 victims will be built on-site.
“Nothing will erase the pain of August 3 and we are hopeful that re-opening 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 wrote in a statement to KTSM.