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Volunteers Mend More Than Wood After Dallas Home Depot Shooting

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Today dozens of volunteers and Home Depot employees came together to repair some of the damage caused by the man who opened fire at one of the home improvement store's locations in Dallas.

When Dallas police officers chased the man accused of killing Officer Rogelio Santander and wounding Officer Crystal Almeida and store employee Scott Painter, it ended with a crash in a residential neighborhood. More specifically it was the fence at the back of the dog park of Central Christian Church that the shooter slammed through before being arrested on April 24.

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(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

It was just after sunrise Friday when store employees and volunteers from Rebuilding North Texas gathered to help rebuild the fence.

Cara Mendelsohn, with Rebuilding North Texas, said, "Given the tragic nature of this and how it's impacted their staff we kind of came together. They [Home Depot] said 'Absolutely, we want to help.' They are funding all of the materials."

The people volunteering said they were doing more than mending broken wood. Construction projects take tools, talent, and time, but there is more than one hole in the community that needs filling.

"It's like I can do something with my hands to make life a little bit better," Mendelsohn said. "I can repair the world a little bit."

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(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

Many of the 70 people who showed up to work came from Home Depot. Employee Rob Tomlin said the repair was personal.

"I was at that store [where the shooting happened] for seven-and-a-half years and going back there and seeing some of the associates that I knew that worked there, and feeling their pain and some of the struggles that they went through… that was a really big deal for me."

Fueled by the need to give back, the volunteers rebuilt 210 linear feet of wood.

Central Christian Church Reverend Ken Crawford said, "It's a small act of redemption in the midst of all that tragedy."

Loss prevention officer Scott Painter was released from the hospital earlier this week. Officer Almeida remains hospitalized, but at last check was said to be improving.

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