Newport Beach-Based Shopping-Center Owner Pulled Into the Tucson Mass-Shooting Aftermath
The city name probably tipped you off as to why the La Toscana Village center remained surrounded by police tape: it's where six people were killed and Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona) was seriously wounded by an apparently crazed gunman the morning of Jan. 8.
The center's Safeway has been closed since the mass shooting, and the Pleasanton, California-based supermarket chain has sent grief counselors to Pima County to help workers cope with the tragedy.
There are no immediate plans to reopen the Safeway, but all the other stores in the center have since opened their doors. Several shopkeepers contacted Jakosky about working with the city and police to regain access to the parking lot so normal operations can resume, reports Inside Tucson Business.
Many merchants told the site business is down, and they worry about the long-term affects of the shooting.
John Peters, owner of a Pak Mail shipping store, told Inside Tucson Business his receipts are down about $500 per day since the shooting.
"My manager had customers at the counter when they heard the shots," Peters reportedly said. "He pushed them all into the bathroom for safety. As it turns out, they were from the Middle East. They kept asking, 'Does this happen often in Tucson? In America?'"