Café Racer reopens after deadly shooting spree

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SEATTLE - On the day that a mass shooting in Colorado occurred, the Seattle café where five people were shot has reopened.

 

Café Racer in Ravenna opened to the public Friday for the first time since a mentally ill customer shot five people in the restaurant May 30.

 

Four of them died.

 

Volunteers repainted the restaurant inside and out, and the floor and bar have been replaced.

 

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Chris Legeros spoke with customers and employees who were at the opening, and the shop’s owner and employees said they are determined to keep the café operating.

 

“It was hugely important to reopen, because if we didn’t, it would be like the bad won. And we didn’t want the bad to win,” said café support staff member Nancy Neyhart.

 

A memorial has been set up inside the café as a tribute to those who died there. For visitors, pictures and memorabilia of Drew Keriakedes, Joe Alabanese, Kimberly Layfield and Donald Largen are present.

 

“They’ve been closed for two months,” said customer Milton Hamlin. “There may be nobody here today because people say, ‘I don’t want to see blood spots.’”

 

The only survivor in the massacre, Leonard Meuse, was back on the job behind the bar.

 

The café had new customers who went out of their way to be at the reopening.

 

“In a small, small way, we want to give them a supportive hug about what they’ve been through,” said another customer Susan Nunnery. “It’s a painful irony. All the more reason that we come and show our support.”