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FERGUSON, Mo. -- Ten days since rioters in this St. Louis suburb looted and burned a QuikTrip convenience store, the retailer has closed a nearby outlet to prevent further damage.
QuikTrip Corp. spokesman Mike Thornbrugh told the St. Louis Business Journal that the company's store at 10768 W. Florissant Ave. has been closed for more than a week following the destruction of its store at 9420 W. Florissant Ave. Both convenience stores are in Ferguson.
The QuikTrip store at 9420 W. Florissant Ave. became an early focal point for people rioting in the wake of the Aug. 9 police shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old. The store was first looted and then set on fire on Sunday, Aug. 10, as CSNews Online previously reported.
Since then, the store has become a staging ground for further demonstrations and the occasional site of confrontations between protesters and police, the news outlet reported.
As a precautionary measure, QuikTrip officials on Aug. 19 sent workers to fence off the parking lot and pump the remaining gasoline from underground storage tanks at the 9420 W. Florissant location. Meanwhile, the 10768 W. Florissant Ave. store has been sealed off as another precautionary measure against the waves of destruction that have often followed peaceful protests in Ferguson.
"It appeared some of the violence had moved outside of the area," Thornbrugh said, noting the company has no timeline for reopening the store.
In an interview with the St. Louis Dispatch, Thornbrugh said each QuikTrip employs between 15 and 20 people and those employees that were affected have been offered counseling and positions at other QT stores. "When they're ready, we transfer them to other locations," he said. "We're going to take care of our people."
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and law enforcement officials are blaming outside forces for sparking the wave of violence that has gripped the city since Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shot Brown. QuikTrip CEO Chet Cadieux agrees.
"The people who are causing trouble aren't even from Ferguson. They're opportunistic people coming into the area for looting," Cadieux told Tulsa World.
QuikTrip Corp. is a privately held company headquartered in Tulsa, Okla. The company operates 700 convenience stores in 11 states.