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Businesses react after gunfire leaves man dead on Avalon Avenue in Muscle Shoals

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The small community of Muscle Shoals is coming together in a time of confusion, frustration and heartbreak. 

Multiple businesses on Avalon Avenue said things like this don't happen in Muscle Shoals. This is a community where everyone knows everyone, and on Friday night, many hearts were aching.

"This being a small town, things like this don't happen every day," said Heather Pennington. 

Pennington was working her normal 9-to-5 when the day took an unexpected turn for the worse. 

She was working inside Garden Gate Cafe when gunfire erupted just down the road. Customers of the cafe alerted her something was happening on Avalon Avenue. At first, they told Pennington it must be a car wreck. 

Pennington and other customers soon realized there was no car in the road, just a body. 

"We heard more police cars going up the road than we could even count," said Pennington. 

When she learned from a responding officer that two Sheffield police officers were shot, Pennington was in disbelief. 

"Law enforcement are out here putting their lives out here for us," said Pennington. 

Pennington shared that many of the cafe's daily customers are police officers on their lunch break. Other businesses, as far as a mile down the road from the scene on Avalon Avenue, heard the panic and urgency through emergency vehicles' sirens. 

"I could hear the sirens going crazy, and it just got dead in here. The world just — it felt weird," said Megan Young. 

Megan Young went into work thinking it would be a normal, busy Friday at Shoals Liquor. 

"We was all distraught about it," said Young. "We were all just wondering why it happened and how it happened, because we know about every person here."

The community is shaken in every corner of Muscle Shoals. Now people are sending prayers to the injured officer, who is being treated at Huntsville Hospital. 

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