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Boulder King Soopers Could Re-Open As Early As April 24 Following Mass Shooting, Employee Says

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) - A King Soopers employee who witnessed the March 22 attack on her place of work in Boulder says the company is planning to remodel the store and could reopen as early as April 24. Emily Giffen spoke with CBS4 this week.

The 27-year-old says she was informed of the tentative plans at an all-staff, in-person meeting on Monday, exactly one week after the shooting took place.

"We could have had the meeting sooner. I felt like the meeting should not have been on the one-week anniversary of this happening," Giffen said.

Giffen says the company told employees it will pay them their average hourly wage until April 24, and after that if employees still aren't comfortable coming back the company will work with them.

Gunman Opens Fires At Grocery Store In Boulder, Colorado
King Soopers in Boulder a day after Monday's mass shooting on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. A gunman opened fire at a Boulder King Soopers grocery store just before 3 p.m. leaving 10 people dead. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Asked if the company elaborated about what "working with them" means, Giffen said: "No, and to be honest, it's corporate, so I'm sure it's not as much as a lot of people are going to need... I personally don't think they'll pay everybody a full wage, just because you don't want to go back."

Giffen says the company also offered to transfer employees to a different store location to work, or help them find jobs at a different company, but she believes the company should do more to compensate employees as they recover from the trauma.

"If I don't want to go to work for a year, I think they should help me with that. I just almost took a bullet for that corporation, for King Soopers. Those people don't even know my name, they don't remember me after I've introduced myself, I'm just a little peon there," Giffen said.

She would also like to see a security guard at all Kroger-owned grocery stores nationwide.

"Where was our protection?" Giffen said. "That's what angers me."

Gunman Opens Fires At Grocery Store In Boulder, Colorado
A couple embraces as they pay their respects on March 23, 2021 to the ten victims of a mass shooting at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. - Colorado police on March 23, 2021, said a 21-year-old man has been charged with 10 counts of murder, a day after a mass shooting at a grocery store in the city of Boulder. "This suspect has been identified as Ahmad Alissa, 21," Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold told a news conference. (Photo by Jason Connolly / AFP) (Photo by JASON CONNOLLY/AFP via Getty Images)

Giffen said the victims' advocates for the FBI and Boulder police have been incredibly helpful during the last week, saying they even flew her mom into Boulder from out of town to be with her. Giffen believes that help should have also been offered by her company.

"This should be my job's responsibility. ... My company should be doing everything for me, because there's nowhere in my contract that I wrote that I would be cool getting shot at someday," Giffen said.

She tells CBS4 while she wants to go back to work, she believes it will be incredibly difficult.

"My biggest fear is going back and seeing spots on the floor where my friends died, and watching a customer nonchalantly push a cart over that little spot, that's a really hard picture to imagine," Giffen said.

CBS4 reached out to Kroger, which owns King Soopers, for a comment, but so far has not received a response.

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