Reward offered in shooting death of restaurant owner

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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio -- A $25,000 reward is now being offered for information following the shooting death of a local business owner.

Hundreds of people showed up for a candlelight vigil Tuesday night to remember James Brennan, 61. He was the longtime owner of Brennan's Colony on Lee Road, where almost everyone who lives nearby has been before.

"Just the outpouring of support is amazing and I knew it would be," said Lee Appel from Beachwood. "I know a lot of people who have walked in and out of these doors."

Appel dropped off an empty pint of beer in memory of the bar owner and community leader from Gates Mills.

According to Cleveland Heights police, Brennan was inside his closed bar around one o'clock in the afternoon on Monday when two suspects broke in. Authorities said there was a struggle and Jim died after he was shot several times.

"He was caring, he really cared about his employees and his customers," said Appel.

"When you lose somebody like this, a great pillar of the community, it makes you think," said Bert Stratton from Cleveland Heights. "It's too close to home. This is not someone getting killed overseas in a war."

The suspects fled down Silsby, which runs along the side of the bar. There are surveillance cameras along Lee Road but so far, the police have been unable to find the killers.

The suspects are believed to be two men between 17 and 20 years old who were wearing all black with their faces covered.

"Two young men to go in and take a man's life like this, I can't wait to hear the motive behind it," said Tim Harris from Cleveland.

Anyone with any information is being asked to call the Cleveland Heights Police Department at 216-321-1234.

"We're not going to let them kill our spirit because for one thing, Jim wouldn't have wanted them to let that happen," said Julia Mell from University Heights. "So we are just grieving the loss of a really wonderful human being

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