RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) — The Williams family says they’ve been through a lot. They are still grieving the death of a loved one and now find themselves in a war of words with a neighborhood business over a memorial.
On Sept. 7, Kenny Evans was shot and killed in the area of JB’s Lounge and Grill located in the Lincoln Village strip mall in Rancho Cordova. Family members say he was attending a party and the local club.
The lounge disputes the families claim that the shooter and the victim were ever inside the lounge the night of the shooting.
The family decided to erect a makeshift memorial on a nearby fence to honor where he was killed. Still grieving over their loss from two weeks ago, the family is angry that the owners of JB’s Lounge now want the memorial removed because they say it’s hurting business and driving customers away.
Evan’s fianceé says she’s shocked by the request and the business should work with family members.
“This is something far more valuable, you can’t put a price tag on somebody’s life. And I lost a life. It’s my life too,” Chelaw Evans said.
Other family members argued the owners of JB’s have shown little concern to their heartbreak.
“It’s kind of robotic. There’s no feeling to it the way they presented it to us. It’s kind of like, ‘it’s been two weeks, it’s long enough. Can you take it down? Or we’re going to throw it way,'” said Emonie Williams, a cousin of the victim.
CBS13 asked management at the lounge why they had an issue with the memorial located more than 150 feet from the front entrance, they replied it’s bad for business.
Chelaw Evans says the business has been unwilling to find a compromise.
“As I stated to the owner that we lost a life. I don’t care about losing money. If it was money that they’re concerned about, I could have paid them to keep this up,” Evans said.
Management at JB’s lounge said the request to remove the memorial came from the strip mal’s property owners Colliers Real Estate International.
We couldn’t reach Colliers for comment on the issue, but the Evans’ mother says the lounge should do the right thing.
“I would like the restaurant to be able to allow us to mourn,” said Vanda Williams.
With no resolution in sight, the brother of Kenny Evans says they’ll continue tending to the memorial as they see fit.
“If they want to take it down it’s okay we’ll just keep it up every day,” said Carl Williams.