Parker, his cousin Stephanie Buffington and their friend Cynthia Prioleo were near the Atlanta supermarket when a shooter in a car approached and started shooting in the daylight.
The 25-year-old Prioleo was the only person affected. She died that day. Her killer was not found. Since then, at least two more unrelated homicides and a series of assaults have descended on Kroger and a neighboring apartment complex, Atlanta police told CNN.
The violence paved the way for a nickname that some directly affected by Hope for Crime will disappear when the store reopens in October after a top-down recovery: The Kroger Murder.
Any repetition of a sinister phrase can shudder with grief, which is still rather harsh, even if it is not the intention.
For those unrelated to homicides and assaults, the phrase may just be a throwaway punch. In addition, it could reflect the use of community humor to deal with the tragedy or, conversely, to reveal a society plagued by emotional pain stemming from the all-too-common violence, experts told CNN.
"At this point, I'm desensitized to this," Parker said of his gut reaction to the unprecedented way some people mention the Kroger Murder. Yet he wants the nickname to disappear.
"Take some responsibility. don't treat it as it's kind of a trivial thing, "he said." Just think of every tragedy we've seen since 2016, and anyone who perceives it publicly. Filming in Orlando Nightclub and Shooting at Walmart in El Paso: Would You Make a T-Shirt for It? "
A Vigil for a Doomed Grocery Store
By the time Joshua Ritchie, a construction worker, was killed in 2015 in the Kroger parking lot by two men trying to get into his truck, the Kroger murder era was near its zenith.
When the Cincinnati grocery store chain announced in October 2016 that it would close the site to make way for 725 Ponce, a huge, multifunctional development with a new 65,000-square-foot Kroger store, two people refused to release it. calmly.
"I just turned 19 years old and started the event as a kind of joke with a friend, because, unlike many people, I use humor to dealing with tragic things, "Hirsch told CNN." Suddenly, our joke was news.
"We had people who knew the original victim had reached out and told us we were insensitive, sending us threatening messages and calling us names," she said. you, we were just the face of it. The whole city has been calling it the Kroger assassination for years. Everything was a little overwhelming. "
" It was a coupon, he said. “It was all a mockery. There was nothing serious about this. "
The Roots of Atlanta's Charm
Social and economic factors may explain the separation between some of those present at the vigil and relatives of the victims, said Sarah Cook, professor of psychology at Georgia State University (GSU). ), which has a campus downtown about three miles from Kroger.
These kinds of differences may have allowed the ward attendees to put a social distance between themselves and the victims and thus neglect the costs or consequences of the event for their survivors, Cook told CNN
The event and the nickname that inspired it may also reflect the effects of violence in America, John Burison of GSU, an angel professor who studies folklore, told CNN in an email.
"I think Kroger's Murder also reflects a fascination with crime and violence (as evidenced by the number of" cop shows "on commercial television, and in folklore by the large number of American murder ballads). call this charm uniquely American, but ours is certainly a country of violence compared to many others, "says Barryson in an email.
For Buffington, who witnessed the Prioleo shooting, the charm of the Kroger Murder is simpler explanation: The mechanism and its traps
"Murder should never be a joke. What if they were one of their loved ones? "She said." These people are making money financially from killing someone's love. "
The Rise of BeltLine Kroger
] "The store means the ongoing commitment of Kroger to the community and the continued economic prosperity of Atlanta," Kroger Crystal spokesman CN told CNN. of Atlanta, community, community, and business leaders came together to create and grow a very special and safe place for residents and visitors. "
She declined to comment on the store's long-standing nickname.
One of the many patrons who will visit the new Kroger is Parker, now 47, who plans to visit him with his two godparents.
The various Kroger murder devices do not bother him as much as he used to. However, the tacit acceptance of the community by the store's violent characterization is still the case.
"There's nothing they can do at this point," Parker said. "They released it too long. It's too late. It's something that should have been addressed a long time ago."