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As Collierville Kroger reopens Wednesday, those who helped in aftermath of September's mass shooting reflect, look ahead

Floor plans changed inside store ahead of reopening following September 23rd shooting that killed one person, injured 14 others inside. #ColliervilleStrong was born.

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — "I think it's a new beginning. It's something that the town will always remember, but we are ready to move forward," Taryn Causey said.

Tuesday, those in Collierville looked ahead and also reflected back, one day before a Kroger store reopens nearly seven weeks after a mass shooting inside drew national attention, for all the wrong reasons. 

"Just this overwhelming thought of 'wow, this could have been me. Wow, this could have been any of us'," Central Church Pastor Matt Shackelford said.

The shooting - which killed one person and injured 14 others inside the store - rocked the Shelby County town and shocked its longtime residents.

"Something like this happens and you all realize that we all do have something in common and we all do want to support each other when something bad happens," Causey said.

Causey took that cause to heart days after the shooting.

After several women started the 'Collierville Kroger Victim Relief Fund', Causey made apparel with the 'Collierville Strong' logo as a separate fundraiser to help raise money for the cause.

"That was the way we knew how - was to create a shirt and get everybody to wrap their minds around, if we do stay strong, this will not change us," Causey added.

"It was just a remarkable moment, just remembering the fragility of life and that no one is promised tomorrow," Pastor Shackelford said.

He heard the sirens that Thursday afternoon and rushed over, assisting Kroger workers and law enforcement as a chaplain in the ensuing days.

"Providing opportunities to give counsel, to give encouragement, to give hope and so a lot of that was just thrilling to meet that need and that's the kind of church we long to be," Pastor Shackelford said.

As the the Kroger reopens its doors Wednesday, those in the community said the mass shooting horrified them but also unified them.

"We hope out of this tragedy that this mess can be a message, this trial can be triumph, Pastor Shackelford said.

Money continues to be raised at www.colliervilletnstrong.com.

The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis & National Compassion Fund announce the Collierville Survivors Fund. Your...

Posted by Collierville Kroger Victim Relief Fund on Monday, October 4, 2021

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