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    Safeway Store Remains Closed in Wake of Shooting

    The grocer has sent grief counselors to aid shaken associates.

    Following the Jan. 8 shooting at a Tucson, Ariz.-area Safeway parking lot that killed six, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl, and critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), the store remains closed as the grocer assists law enforcement agencies with the ongoing investigation into the incident.

    “We share the grief and shock that everyone in Tucson and the nation are feeling following this tragic act of violence,” Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords and with each of the victims and their families.”

    Safeway added that it had sent grief counselors to the location in the suburb of Casas Adobes “to provide emotional support to those affected by this tragedy, and we will continue to look for ways to be of comfort to the many employees, customers and others who are devastated by what has happened.”

    United Food and Commercial Workers Local 99 president Jim McLaughlin echoed the grocer’s sentiments toward those killed and wounded in the attacks, further noting, “No members or staff of UFCW Local 99 were hurt in this event, but our members in the store were among the first to respond to aid the injured. A suspect is currently in custody.

    “I have spoken with a steward in the store and we have dispatched Local 99 staff who to the scene,” continued McLaughlin. “In addition, our health administrators are sending in teams to assist our members with the stress and mental trauma that they are experiencing.” Local 99, which maintains offices in Phoenix and Tucson, is the largest private-sector union in Arizona, according to its website.

    Giffords was at the parking lot to conduct a “Congress on Your Corner” event, during which she would answer constituents’ questions, when the shooting, of which she was the apparent target, occurred.
     

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