ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – The Lynchburg community is mourning the loss of Tyler Johnson after Friday night’s shooting at the Iron and Ale restaurant. Johnson was the son of the restaurant’s co-owners.
“He made people feel welcome. He loved people. He was a kind young man and he will be sorely missed… sorely missed,” said co-owner Carrie McFadden.
McFadden is a co-owner with Johnson’s parents. The two families spent three years opening the diner to the public.
“He was an intricate part of it. Even when he wasn’t working here, he became an intricate part of the restaurant,” McFadden explained.
On Sunday, November 13, his family and friends held a private service inside the restaurant. Outside the building, the community stood around the building in a show of support.
“Someone will shoot at the staff and kill them. It was just a stomach ache,” Drew Kennedy said.
Kennedy was at the restaurant five hours before the shooting. He is a regular customer and the staff has become a second family to him.
“We want to let them know, in a big or small way, that we love them and our hearts are broken for them,” Kennedy said.
McFadden says they never thought about how much people cared about them.
“If tragedy does nothing more, it makes you realize what kind of society we actually live in, which is incredible,” McFadden explained.
The restaurant will remain closed until further notice.
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