LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Joe Bishop was still in disbelief the day after three customers were killed in a shooting at his restaurant, Bungalow Joe’s Bar and Grill.
“I didn’t think I’d be scrubbing blood off my patio on a Saturday morning,” Bishop told WDRB News. “I thought I was getting ready for everybody to watch the ballgame.”
Bishop said he had just gone to sleep when he got a call around 11:15 p.m. Friday from one of his managers about a shooting at the restaurant. When he got to the scene, one of the victims had been rushed to a hospital, and two others were lying on the patio. According to Bishop, it was a normal Friday night at Bungalow Joe’s when a man walked up to the restaurant and shot three customers, all men, who were sitting in the patio area at point-blank range.
“Nobody had ever seen this guy before,” Bishop said, referring to the shooter. “It was a totally random act.”
The men did not exchange words “at any point in time” before the shooting, according to Bishop.
“Social media is full of people saying this happened and that happened and wanted to get political with it; there was nothing political about what happened,” he added.
Louisville Metro Police officers responded to the bar, located on Beulah Church Road, around 11:30 p.m. Two of the men who were shot, Toreon Jermaine Hudson, 26, and William Scott Smallwood, 48, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office. The other victim, Steven Matthew Head, 24, died from his injuries at University Hospital.
Michael E. Rhynes Jr., 33, was arrested just after midnight Saturday after police found him crawling in brush near the restaurant, according to Rhynes’ arrest report. Police said Rhynes’ clothing matched the clothing of the suspect caught on video and that he had a handgun loaded with several rounds that were manufactured by the same company that made the shell casings found at the scene.
Rhynes faces three counts of murder and is scheduled to be arraigned in court on Monday. His bond was set at $2 million, according to the Louisville Metro Corrections online booking log.
“Why? Why?” Bishop asked. “I mean, I could understand if there was an altercation, but why?”
A GoFundMe has been created to help cover the victims’ funeral expenses. Outside Bungalow Joe’s on Saturday, members of the community created a memorial for the men, who Bishop said worked together. One of the men was his manager’s fiancé. Smallwood was his dear friend.
“Very first customer I had in the place,” Bishop said of Smallwood. “Well liked by everyone. Didn’t have an enemy in the world. He was a regular; he was a fixture here. Every time you came up here, there was a good chance Scott was going to be here.”
In all his years in business, Bishop said he’s had to call the police to Bungalow Joe’s just one time. He said the sign above the door best describes his restaurant — a family grill and pub.
“They’re my family,” he said. “My customers, my employees — they’re just all my family. And when they hurt, I hurt.”
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