SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — “My heart is still broken, you know it’s going to be broken forever.”
This morning, Chea Nguyen will attempt to pick up the pieces of that broken heart as he reopens LuckyTime Chinese restaurant today knowing his son won’t be there.
“I came here yesterday getting ready to open, I saw the sidewalk drawn with hearts and flowers, and I want to say thank you to each and every person that came out to support us,” said Chea Nguyen.
And that support is on full display just outside the restaurant with hearts drawn on the sidewalk, and condolences sent by neighboring businesses, like those at the Coffee Ethic.
“This is a big city but a very close-knit community and we all really love each other in our own unique way,” said Hannah Duckworth, first house manager at the Coffee Ethic.
“Part of what draws businesses to downtown is a community, and when we have things like this happen, we’re concerned about our neighbors,” Rusty Worley with the Downtown Springfield Association said. “It wasn’t much, but we bought a plant and wanted to share that with the family that just let them know that we’re thinking of them and we grieve with them during this time.”
“It was out the door at one point when I got there, and just seeing the restaurant so full and packed, it’s the busiest I’ve ever seen,” Sean Barnhill said. “I’m really glad to see the community rallying around this family to help them and to let them know they’re not alone through this grief.”
Nguyen said he was surprised to see the arrests made so soon, but he will continue to work, and provide for his family, as justice is served to the men arrested for his son’s killing.
“We have a family, we have to take care of and build… house so we can be paid. Otherwise, we can’t just close the restaurant,” said Nguyen.
Nguyen told Ozarksfirst the family is holding a funeral service for their son next Wednesday, November 22, at 2:00 p.m. at the Greenlawn Funeral Home. He said the public is welcome to attend.