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Walmart Unveils Design For Memorial To Victims Of El Paso Mass Shooting

Walmart shared this rendering of the permanent memorial for the victims of the El Paso shooting at a city council meeting Oct. 29.
Walmart shared this rendering of the permanent memorial for the victims of the El Paso shooting at a city council meeting Oct. 29.

The reopening of the El Paso Walmart where 22 people were killed in an August mass shooting has been pushed back. The renovated store will now open its doors on Nov. 14, about a week later than originally planned.

“This will not be a celebratory atmosphere or environment,” said Todd Peterson, vice president of Walmart and regional general manager. He said at 9 a.m. that Monday, “we’ll just simply open the doors.”

Peterson shared the updated timeline at an El Paso City Council meeting Tuesday. He also unveiled the design for a permanent memorial to victims of the attack, which will be located on the south side of the store’s parking lot.

The design includes an outdoor plaza, surrounded by decorative fencing and plants.

“The focal point...will be a grand candela,” Peterson said. “Twenty-two individual perforated aluminum arcs, grouped together into one, single 30-foot candela, symbolizing unity and emanating light into the sky.”

The structure will be installed in the coming weeks. Survivors of the shooting, victims’ family members and Walmart employees will be able to view the memorial privately.

The Cielo Vista Walmart has remained closed since Aug. 3, when a white gunman allegedly drove ten hours from a Dallas suburb to carry out the attack. Police say he was targeting Mexicans.

Community members continue to visit a makeshift memorial near the store — lined with candles, flowers, stuffed animals and other items.

Several survivors of the mass shooting and family members of victims are suing Walmart, claiming the store lacked proper security.

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Mallory Falk was WWNO's first Education Reporter. Her four-part series on school closures received an Edward R. Murrow award. Prior to joining WWNO, Mallory worked as Communications Director for the youth leadership non-profit Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools. She fell in love with audio storytelling as a Middlebury College Narrative Journalism Fellow and studied radio production at the Transom Story Workshop.
Mallory Falk
Mallory Falk covers El Paso and the border for the Texas news hub, the prototype for NPR's new system of regional journalism hubs. Previously she worked as a reporter at KRWG in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and WWNO, New Orleans Public Radio. Her reporting has aired nationally on programs including Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Here & Now. A winner of multiple regional Edward R. Murrow awards, Mallory is based in El Paso, and is part of the national Report for America project, which aims to support journalists in underserved areas of America.