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Customers continue to visit businesses near Weis

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TIMES-SHAMROCK PHOTO/BUTCH COMEGYS A Weis employee checks out a makeshift memorial outside the store Friday.

Tony Shaver of of My Tech Endless Programing, reports that his business has not seen a reduction in customer traffic since the shooting at the Weis store, located adjacent to his business. Weis Supermarket in Eaton Township remained closed on Friday, following the aftermath of the shooting which claimed four lives at the store early Thursday morning. A security guard walks back a forth between the two front entrances, politely informing people it is not known at this time when the store will reopen for business.

Black plastic covers the windows of the inner foyer, preventing anyone from seeing inside. State police reported that around 1 a.m. on Thursday, Randy Stair, 24, of Dallas, shot and killed co-workers Terry Sterling, 63, of South Montrose, Victoria Brong, 25, of Factoryville, and Brian Hayes, 47, of Springville, then turned a gun on himself. Customer traffic was disrupted on Thursday morning at the Weis plaza, as authorities investigated the scene.

As expected, the parking lot in front of Weis remained bare on Friday, containing only a few cars. But other sections of the parking lot showed good customer traffic as people patronized other businesses adjacent to the supermarket. Two workers at Antonio s Pizzaia and Restaurant, who would only identify themselves by their first names as Shayla and Sarah, said that the incident was tragic, but has not affected customer traffic at the restaurant.

We opened about an hour later that day (Thursday), Shayla explained. The two said that Brong patronized Antonio s on a regular basis, but they only knew her as a customer.

On Monday, Angelo Maruzzelli, son of owners Chris and Samantha Maruzzelli is making pizzas as the store opens.

I sense a quietness in the area, Maruzzelli explained, saying he s worked at Antonio s for 10 years. I ve never seen the parking lot so empty. People were spotted coming and going at the Fine Wine and Good Spirits State Store on Friday. However, the store manager declined to comment on the situation. On the other side of the plaza, several people were filling out forms at the PennDOT driver s license bureau.

People coming in are a little more somber. You can feel it in the air, explained PennDOT Supervisor Robert Yochem. It s a small community, so everybody is affected by it.

Ron Whipple, of Whipple s Dance Studio, located adjacent to Weis, said that the T-Town Twirlers canceled practice on Thursday.

They usually hold practice here on Thursday nights, but this week they canceled it, he said. Until about 3 p.m. on Thursday, every person wishing to enter the dance studio had to come in the back via the airport.

It was less than a day, Whipple explained. But we didn t have any classes scheduled, so it was no inconvenience to us. Tony Shaver, owner of My Tech Endless Programing, located in the plaza adjacent to Weis, reported that they have seen nothing out of the ordinary as far as business is concerned.

It didn t affect us at all, he said about Weis closing following the shooting. We service a lot of people in Wyoming County, and it s definitely been a topic of conversation with our customers.

Ellen Shalata, manager and stylist at Cross Cutters, said that business has probably been more of the same, this week.

This is graduation week, and people are coming in to have their hair done, she explained. Lisa Ford, a hairstylist at Cross Cutters, said that people are shocked by the incident.

Everybody s talking about it, she explained. I find it hard to believe that something like that could happen here. I ve lived here all my life. Overall, people are expressing an underlying sadness about the incident.

They say how sad they feel. They feel sorry for the families, Ford said.

Kristen Dudley at Cross Country Cleaners said that business slowed down for them a bit on Thursday morning, but picked up in the afternoon.

They ve all been talking about it, Dudley said about the shooting. They say how surprised they were when it happened, and how they don t believe it could happen here.

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