▶️ ‘Very grateful to be open’: Eastside Bend Safeway is back open for business

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The Safeway store on Bend’s eastside reopened Wednesday, more than two weeks after a shooting that led to the deaths of an employee and a customer.

Just a few people entered the store when the doors first opened Wednesday morning. They passed mobile security trailers with blue flashing lights that announced they were on private property and were being videotaped. 

Workers on scissor lifts posted a “Now Open, Stronger Together” banner on the storefront.

“It’s very well stocked. There was an officer going in the door. Very friendly. We visited. There’s attendants everywhere,” said Linda Victorine of Culver.

RELATED: Police affidavit of Bend Safeway shooting investigation released

RELATED: Safeway worker had ‘ample time’ to run, waited to confront shooter, PD says

Foot traffic increased during the morning commute. Within a couple of hours, the parking lot was full with people heading into the store and others loading groceries into their cars.

“Even the guys in the meat department waving, saying ‘Hi. How are you doing? Thanks for coming in,” said Victorine “They are very grateful to be open and I’m very grateful that these folks have their jobs and that we are all coming in to support them because I think that’s really important right now.”

The store interior is freshly painted and there’s new floor treatments.

“It’s so convenient for us,” said Rick Arnold of Bend. “We live about two miles away. It’s close by. I like the bank services with U.S. Bank being in there and we pick up what we need. I am very glad to see it reopen.”

Security is top of mind for some. One person we spoke with said she asked security guards where the exits are so she would know which way to leave in an emergency.

Employee Donald Surrett, 66, and customer Glenn Bennett, 84, were killed in the Aug. 28 shooting. Police say Surrett hid behind a produce cart, armed with a knife, in an effort to disarm the suspect.

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