Safeway chief praises Tucson-area store workers - Tucson News Now

Safeway chief praises Tucson-area store workers

The president and CEO of Safeway praised the actions of his employees at the store where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others were shot in January.

Steve Burd said he was in Phoenix for business and could not leave Arizona without visiting employees at 7110 N. Oracle Road, where the Jan. 8 mass shooting took place. Burd wanted to thank his employees and commend them for their actions.

"This store and this community has been through a lot," said Burd, after touring the store and meeting with staff. "There's a bonding that takes place. It's never going to be replaced, all those in the store will be friends for life."

Even after one of the most horrifying events they would probably ever witness, Burd said most of the employees in the store at Oracle and Ina roads chose to stay at the same location. They felt loyalty to each other.

Many of the employees told Burd that the tragedy had brought them closer.

Burd said it wasn't just his staff, but the community also rallied around the store, making it one of the best-performing ones in the company.

"I like to put bad things out of my mind. I'm old enough to where I can do that," said Safeway customer Art Kirsch.

Barbara King said she felt uneasy after the shooting, but that fear lifted after the arrest of shooting suspect Jared Loughner.

"I feel evil is gone, so I feel safe again," she said.

Copyright 2011 KOLD. All rights reserved.

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