Coworkers & customers rally around owner of Bungalow Joe’s after fatal triple shooting
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It’s been nearly two weeks since a man approached three men on a restaurant patio in Fern Creek, randomly shooting them and ending their lives. The pain is still raw for the family at Bungalow Joe’s, but they’re back open.
“We’ve had our ups and downs. I’ve got a few staffers that aren’t ready to work, and that’s fine with me,” owner Joe Bishop said. “I can say my customers have been phenomenal. Best in town.”
When Bishop opened the doors again, a mixture of faces, both old and new, flooded the family restaurant.
“The support this past weekend was off the charts,” Bishop said.
From fundraisers to feeding the staff, friends, ministries, and other restaurants have rallied behind Bishop and his team after Michael Rhynes allegedly shot and killed Steven Head, Toreon Hudson, and Scott Smallwood right before closing time, taking not just customers, but family.
“I just remember a guy that had an infectious laugh,” Bishop said. “Someone you knew was here by his laugh, and when Scott was sitting at the table, he wasn’t sitting alone he’s always, always had a crowd with him.”
Smallwood was Bishop’s first customer. He was also the fiancé of Bishop’s manager. Now, Smallwood will be forever remembered at his regular table with his name now etched into a silver plaque.
“I think will make everybody else feel good when you sit around a table still see him with us in some way,” Bishop said.
Bishop wants everyone to keep Smallwood’s children and fiancé in their thoughts as they struggle with the loss.
Although the alleged shooter is behind bars, it’s just as painful having to wait to see justice served.
“They want to know why. I talked to Stephen’s mom this morning and I talked to Toreon’s mom this morning and, you know, this is something they’ll never get over,” Bishop said.
The restaurant owner has been collecting money for the families and wants everyone to stay tuned to the Bungalow Joe’s Facebook page for future fundraisers. For a link to his GoFundMe, click here.
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