CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio - Jim Brennan owned Brennan's Colony for more than 20 years at the corner of Silsby and Lee Road in Cleveland Heights.
Brennan was shot in an attempted robbery at his restaurant around 1 p.m. Monday.
As word of his death spread throughout the community, grief set in. "That's the place I work it's like home to me. I would never expect something like this to happen,"said Sarah Dougherty.
There is a growing memorial of flowers outside of the restaurant and tavern. "It leaves you speechless the whole idea," said Joan Evans who left flowers.
Tuesday, the family of Brennan released a statement about the tragic death:
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.
Thank you once again for your love and support.
Kathy Murphy and the Brennan Family
A vigil is being held Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Brennan's Colony to remember Brennan. The vigil will take place at the corner of Meadowbrook Boulevard and Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. There will be free parking after 6 p.m.