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How safe do Capital Region grocery shoppers feel after Buffalo shooting?

The Price Chopper Supermarket at Westgate, Albany, NY.
Dave Lucas
The Price Chopper Supermarket at Westgate, Albany, NY.

How safe do area grocery shoppers feel after Saturday’s mass shooting at a Buffalo store?

Derrick D'Amico stopped by an Albany Price Chopper Monday to pick up a few items.

D'Amico says he was horrified when he heard the initial news reports about both Saturday shootings at the Buffalo Tops and Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California. He says he’ll be keeping his wits about him when shopping.

“Well it crosses your mind but you can't live your life like that," D'Amico said. "It sounds cliche to say you can't live your life in fear but you can't you gotta go buy groceries. These are isolated incidences; that seems like a lot of things happen a lot of shootings in one day, that's not good but you can't live your life like that, you can’t.”

Derrick Buggs is breathing a sigh of relief since the capture of the 18-year-old accused of killing 10 people in a racist attack Saturday.

“I feel safe today. He's not around, but as far as the experience I've been every day after that, it's been OK," said Buggs. "I can't judge the guy because even though he's so called a ‘white supremacist’ and he went after specific people. At the end of the day, from my experience, sometimes people just lose hope, and when you've been subjected to certain negative situations or oppression by an individual, you want to just take that [out] on everything that you see when you don't, can't confront the main person.”

Fellow shopper Greg McCormick says he feels very badly for the innocent people who were gunned down.

“So I mean, I don't know what's going to happen to our country, McCormick said. "And I don't know how long I'll be safe. But, you know, I watch out and try to protect myself and look out. I was thinking while I was in there. What if this person were attacked? What would I do? I was thinking that while I was in the store.”

Not everyone who spoke with WAMC had heard about Saturday's violence, like Jay James.

"I don't walk in fear so if it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen regardless," said James.

Candace Showers, loading groceries in the family SUV at another local Price Chopper, winced when hearing about the Buffalo shooting for the first time.

“That’s sad. There’s a lot of that going on," Showers said. "So I’ll make sure we won't have our kids when we go out. [speaks to her partner] Babe, I'm not gonna, I don’t want to go shopping anymore. You can go for me. I know yeah, I'm scared um, we don't do the gun violence, and a lot of people that’s been dying out in Albany has been my family, due to killing, so mmm-mmm, I don't I don't like it. And now I'm – see you gave me chills like, now I'm really, got my guard up.”

The Buffalo News reports the Tops store where the shooting took place is temporarily closed so employees can grieve and get counseling. Shuttle buses are ferrying shoppers to other Tops locations.

The Albany Police Department and Price Chopper, which recently merged with Tops, did not respond to requests for comment.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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