A Huntsville IHOP is back open after a gunman killed a beloved employee and wounded his son.
It was a very different scene at the IHOP on Friday than it was Thursday afternoon. The parking lot was packed all day as customers showed their support for the employees while grabbing a bite to eat. One regular customer, Anaisse Pirant, visited the restaurant on Friday.
"I heard that they were reopened and I feel like these employees still have to make a living," said Anaisse Pirant.
Pirant is a waitress in Huntsville so when she heard IHOP reopened she decided to show support. She wasn't the only customer with the same idea. Another frequent customer, Mary Warren, said nothing was different while eating her breakfast.
"We had a wonderful experience today as always," said Warren.
Customers told WAAY31 they thought the staff was handling everything well since the shooting happened Wednesday night.
"They're really brave. And all of them they're heroes too for coming back," Warren said.
Police said Roderick Turner became angry over his carryout order and started shooting, killing Roy Brown. Brown's family told us turner also wounded Brown's son, Jay, who also worked at the restaurant. That's when police say Jay pulled out his own gun and killed Turner.
Now customers hope employees will lean on each other.
"Stay positive. Support each other. Be there for one another," said Pirant.
Pirant told WAAY31 she thinks everyone who works at this IHOP is doing just that.
"Everyone was in good spirits. Everyone was smiling. Still the same service I receive when I come here on a regular," said Pirant.
The restaurant opened Friday morning after a professional cleaning crew came in to clean and sanitize everything.