ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4)– The square in the middle of Olde Town Arvada was intended as a park and for events, but never as a memorial site. That’s what’s become of it following Monday’s shooting there that left three dead, including Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley, good Samaritan Johnny Hurley and the gunman.
“We’re just doing it. We’re not trained for any of this and I don’t think we should be trained for any of this,” said business owner Scott Spears.READ MORE: New Center Offers Recovery Resources For Homeless In Jefferson County
Several of his five businesses in Olde Town Arvada surround the square. The restaurant, So Radish, was hit by gunfire.
“It’s going to take some time. People need to heal down here. It was a scary situation.”
Still, people who have come to pay tribute are showing up all day and evening. They are patronizing restaurants and other businesses. But some of the people waiting on them, have been through a traumatic time.
“It feels like the community has our back and supports us and wants us to know that they’re here for us,” said Jamie Hollier, owner of the Balefire Goods, a jewelry gallery.
But people, even with good intentions, are asking about the shooting.
“It’s exhausting to retell the stories and go over the tragedy.”READ MORE: Commerce City Authorities Respond To Homicide That Ends With Shots Fired
Jefferson County made mental health help available right away and that’s been helpful. Police even sent pairs of officers around to businesses the day after the shooting.
“They wanted to make sure we were good, but you could tell that they were shaken,” said Hollier. “It didn’t feel like a one-way thing it felt like they needed to be with us as much as we needed to be with them in this interesting kind of way.”
At Spears’ restaurants, people are coming back after the pandemic.
“It’s been a challenging couple of years now and we’re just doing the best we can. We’ve been rolling with the punches and we’re trying to help everybody as much as we can.”
His workers helped dozens of people rush to the basement of the School House Kitchen and Libations restaurants. At So Radish, customers outside scrambled into the restaurant and workers helped them hide in the back.
“It’s still hitting everybody. This is our town… to have this happen at our front door is devastating.”
But they know in spite of all their concern for the families who lost loved ones and each other, the shooting cannot define Olde Town Arvada.MORE NEWS: City Of Denver Employees Meet News Of Vaccination Requirement With Mixed Emotions
“We hope that this doesn’t say who we are. This isn’t Olde Town Arvada,” said Spears. “We are all working really hard to try to figure out how to we talk about what this community is made up of and who we have here,” said Hollier. “And it is not trauma. It is not hatred. It is family. It is having each other’s back. It is support.”