FRIDAY, JUNE 29: The boss of a barbershop where a man was shot dead has vowed that the tragedy would not put him out of business.
And Dean Fox, owner of Jason’s Barber Shop on North Shore Road, said that he had already taken steps to ensure the safety of his staff and customers.
New security measures are to be put into place – including CCTV and an entry system — to minimise the risk of any further incidents.
Yesterday, in a strong show of support for the shop, customers waited in line for a haircut, determined the upsurge in gun violence would not damage the community they live in.
Mr Fox said: “There are some of our clients who are apprehensive about their safety, but this could have happened anywhere.
“Any business which caters to the public at large is at risk. This could have taken place at a laundromat or a restaurant.
“Jason’s Barber Shop has been in operation for 20 years now. Our clients know that I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and they know what we stand for at Jason’s.
“Nothing like this has ever happened in the entire history of our business, or even come close.
“”Unfortunately, because of what’s happened, we feel it’s necessary now to take proper precautions to protect ourselves as employees, as well as protect our clients.
“We are not going to continue operating if it’s a risk to ourselves or our customers.
“We are now in the process of installing an electronic buzzer on the door, as well as surveillance cameras to identify all those entering the barber shop.
“As of now, we are physically letting people into the barber shop, but they have to remove their helmets or hoodies or anything else which would obscure their identity.
“This will prevent anyone with bad intent from simply walking into the shop.
“We plan on doing everything in our power to ensure that Jason’s is a safe environment, as it has been for the past 20 years, despite this tragic incident, which could not have been foreseen.”
Mr Fox was speaking after Joshua Robinson, 31, from St Monica’s Road, was gunned down as he sat in a chair at the shop on Saturday.
One regular customer, who asked not to be named, said: “I’d like very much to go back there — they are taking proactive steps to make it easier to go back and I’ll be the first in line. They do a nice job there and the barbers are great.”
Terrified customers were there when a lone gunman wearing a helmet and dark-tinted visor walked into the shop on Saturday evening and open fire, hitting Mr Robinson several times.
Mr Fox said: “We are so grateful to our clients, who have already demonstrated that they are not going to be intimidated by this incident. They do realise that this was a random occurrence. We have had our clients’ support from the time we opened on Tuesday.
“We weren’t even going to open that day, just meet to discuss how we could implement procedures to ensure safety at the shop.
“But clients started to turn up. They said they had come to pay their respects, but also wanted a haircut. Some of them were parents with their children.
It is understood that staff at the shop have personally expressed their condolences to the family of Mr Robinson.
“In no way are we making light of this terrible loss of a young life and our hearts and prayers go out to the family of Mr Robinson.”