BRATTLEBORO — A day after hundreds of people gathered to mourn a deadly shooting at a local cooperative grocery store, employees at the Brattleboro Food Co-op quietly got back to business Thursday morning.
When the store’s doors opened at 8 a.m., it was the first time shoppers had been in the co-op since the Tuesday morning shooting involving two employees that police say was sparked by a workplace dispute.
At opening time, employees, co-op members and customers began getting back to a new normal, which was changed forever after 59-year-old store manager Michael Martin of Dummerston, Vt., was fatally shot in his office at the store.
A co-worker, Richard E. Gagnon, also 59, of Marlboro, Vt., is jailed in connection with the shooting, accused of first-degree murder.
As customers arrived Thursday morning toting reusable bags, some stopped outside, embracing and speaking over the clatter of nearby construction work on a new co-op and apartment complex.
Some of those arriving on foot crossed a pedestrian bridge — its red bricks splattered with candle wax drippings from the previous night’s vigil — where flowers had been woven into the iron handrails.
A few passers-by cast sidelong glances at the pale green building as they headed down the path.
Inside the store, co-op workers busily readied for the day, brewing coffee, stocking shelves and stacking rows of organic fruits and vegetables.
Solemn faces stretched into kind smiles as shoppers offered hugs and words of support to the employees and other customers. Continue reading