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Walmart will overhaul and reopen the store in El Paso, where 22 people were killed



The Walmart in El Paso, where an armed assailant attacked Mexicans in a rampage this month, is expected to reopen later this year – and if so, the store will be unrecognizable to customers and employees , the ] company said Thursday.

The store, which is located on the east side of the city, will be disassembled and overhauled to its foundations over the next three to four months, Walmart said, adding new layout, flooring, fixtures and merchandise.

A memorial to the 22 people killed in the 3 August shootings is being included in the renovation of the business, which attracts both residents and customers from Ciudad Juárez on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande ].

While Walmart was criticized as one of the country's largest arms dealers, the shop in El Paso, where the mass shootings took place, did not sell firearms, company spokesman Randy Hargrove said The shots started, leaving panicked buyers and employees dead run. A 21-year-old man who wrote in a manifesto that he was reacting to the "Hispanic invasion of Texas," surrendered to the Texas Rangers and admitted the shooting, the authorities said.

The violence has enabled Walmart to decide on the future of the building. It is a well-known dilemma at the location of every mass shooting, such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, and the Century Aurora Theater in Colorado.

"I do not think any of the staff wants him to tear down the store," said Alex Rodriguez, 24, a store clerk for five years, who took his lunch break at the start of the shoot. "Most of them say they should reopen the store." However, some of his staff have struggled with the psychological consequences of the shootout, said Mr Rodriguez, who was transferred to another Walmart in El Paso seven miles away. "I already know some people who do not want to work again," he said. "I'm sure, even if the business looks different, they will not want to return."

Mr. Hargrove said on Thursday that the company had encouraged employees to provide feedback on the future of the business and intend to engage them intensely.

"The employees of this business have a very strong connection to this business," he said. "They have repeatedly told us that they want to work there again."

Mr. According to Hargrove, 93 percent of the company's 400 employees were employed in other Walmart stores in the region. Grief counselors are available through an employee wellness program . He added, "We will continue to provide them with what they need."

Laura C. Wilson, editor of "The Wiley Handbook of The Psychology of Mass shootings" and an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia said it was quite common for survivors to tear down a building or room where gun violence took place.

"One of the hallmarks of PTSD is the avoidance of trauma memories, and the location of the shooting is certainly a memory," said Professor Wilson in an e-mail on Thursday. "In light of this, it's not surprising that many communities choose to eliminate or significantly redesign places where mass shootings took place."

This room feels like it again, "she added. "The reuse of this space can contribute to the achievement of this goal."

Communities have chosen different approaches to mass shooting sites.

In Newtown, Conn., For example, the elementary school where 20 first-graders and six pedagogues were killed in mass shootings in 2012 was destroyed and a new school was built on another part of the property.

In Virginia Beach, officials still have not decided the fate of an urban building in which a city engineer who quit his job killed 12 people in May. The city conducted a survey among residents and employees of the city, where the largest percentage of respondents supported the demolition, reported The Virginian Pilot from Norfolk, Virginia.

"Nothing will erase the pain of August 3," he added, "and we are confident that the reopening of the business will be further evidence of the strength and resilience that the El Paso community has for this tragedy characterized. "


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