Jim Brennan, 61, was shot multiple times during a suspected robbery. He was rushed to MetroHealth Hospital but died due to his injuries.
The medical examiner has released the cause of his death as multiple gunshot wounds.
"It's heartbreaking. They're a staple to the community. Jim. The Colony," said James Millard.
Cleveland Heights Police Officers are looking for the suspects and are canvassing several side streets and residents were told to stay indoors.
CHPD say the suspects fled on foot, heading east on Silsby Road. They are described as two black males, in their late teens to early 20's. One suspect was wearing all black, the other a gray hoodie, dark pants and a bandana.
The community has begun to pour out their love and support for a man who has been a staple in the neighborhood for years. A memorial of flowers and signs has been started at the entrance of the restaurant.
"When you hear something like this and then you know the guy, had dinner at his restaurant. Had beers with him. It's just...it's tragic," Millard said.
"I live right down the street and this really scares me 'cause it puts all the other businesses at risk too if there's a robbery and shooting right here on such a busy street," Marcy Rosenberg said.
A street that's normally peaceful where residents enjoy sitting outdoors or taking a walk on a beautiful summer night.
"I didn't know the owner personally, but it feels like we lost a member of our family," said Rosenberg.
"Some idiot with a gun, once again, gets the upper hand and it's the community that has to pay for it," Millard said angrily.
The Brennan Family has issued the following statement:
From the family of Jim Brennan:
We want to thank everyone for the tremendous outpouring of love, condolences, and support we have received in the wake of Jim's sudden and tragic passing. We are very moved by all of the kind thoughts, words, and prayers--from both friends and strangers--that have come from as close as the Cedar Lee community and from far overseas. We are grateful to those who have paid tribute to Jim, by bringing bouquets of flowers to Brennan's Colony, posting so many heartfelt messages on social media, or otherwise sharing in our sadness as well as the celebration of his life.
We want to thank Cleveland Heights Mayor Dennis Wilcox and Vice Mayor Cheryl Stephens for their kind words and support. The Cleveland Heights Police Department, Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and all other law enforcement personnel have our full support and appreciation as you work to bring those responsible for this senseless crime to justice.
We would also like to recognize the dedicated physicians and medical personnel at MetroHealth for doing all they could for Jim with great care, sensitivity, and professionalism.
We are overwhelmed by the restaurant and bar owners, Cedar Lee merchants, and area residents who have sent their sympathies and are sharing great stories about Jim. Please, continue to share those stories and memories.
As our family mourns, we are also reaching out to Jim's other family -- the employees of Brennan's Colony -- many of whom viewed Jim as a second Dad, to discuss the future. Jim has kept Brennan's Colony open at Lee and Silsby since 1991 and we will work diligently to reopen it as soon as possible.
Finally, if anyone has any additional information that would assist in the apprehension and prosecution of those responsible for this crime, we would urge you to contact Cleveland Heights police as soon as possible.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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