Hae Soon Lim, slain NE deli owner, remembered in Bethesda
Signs, photographs, and messages of love, now cover the shuttered doors of Grace Deli, in Northeast Washington.
"Senseless. There's no explanation. We're all hurting", Maurice Sykes said softly.
On H Street, quiet on a weekend night, you can feel the emotion in the air... the sense of loss for slain 64-year-old deli owner Hae Soon Lim, known as June.
"She looked out for everybody", says Vincent Smith, a barber who works right around the corner. "I'm so used to seeing her every morning, you know, so it's kind of a reality check that June's no longer here."
Friends, family, and customers, came together at a Bethesda funeral home Saturday, to say goodbye and pay their respects.
"It's very sad and tragic, terrible thing", says Regina Powers, a family friend.
Nine days ago, a co-worker found Lim shot to death behind the front counter, at 6:30 in the morning.
A suspected robbery, with a tragic ending.
Lim's son Peter says the past week has been heartbreaking and stressful.
"Very difficult, but through love and support of both family and friends, my mom's customers keeping us afloat, keeping us strong", he says.
But it's also been a time for love and remembrance.
Lim says his mother, and the H Street neighborhood, embraced each other.
"Complete strangers coming up, hugging me, telling me how much they loved my mother. Homeless people telling me how she would feed them", he says.
A police alert says the cash register had been emptied. A gun holster, was later recovered in the store.
A crime that baffles and angers employees at the barber shop next door.
"Robbery is one thing, but to kill her?", Smith says. "It's such a shock for somebody so nice to get done like that, to get gunned down".
A life cut short, amid so many questions... and renewed concerns about safety.
Police have no suspects in the case, but are offering a $25,000 reward for information.
"We all feel vulnerable in this situation", Sykes says. "It's a loss, a very big loss".
Family members say Lim had planned to retire next year.
They recently learned she was soon to be a grandmother for the very first time.
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