BROOKFIELD -- For the first time since a mass shooting in October, the parking lot at the Azana Salon and Spa in Brookfield is full again. The spa has reopened.
Customers were allowed in the building for the first time since three women were killed and another three were wounded when Radcliffe Haughton entered the salon and opened fire. He later turned the gun on himself.
"I didn't think it would be opened so quickly," said Emily Fenwick.
"I'm thrilled. I'm sorry it took so long for them to get back, because I'm sure this has been very hard on, I mean that owner isn't to blame for what happened." says Gayle Wortman.
In the weeks since the shooting, salon owner Tami Gemmell has continued to pay her employees, even though they have not been able to work for a month-and-a-half. She said it has been a struggle, but said she feels it was the right thing to do.
The media was provided a tour of the facility on Friday, November 30th. The salon has been completely renovated. There are new lights, rugs and furniture. All of it was designed by a woman who was at the spa the day of the shooting — having her hair done by Maelin Lind, one of the victims. She says because her life was spared, this was her way of honoring the victims.
Just to the left of the main door, there is a permanent memorial where Zina Daniel’s station sat for some eight-and-a-half years.
“She worked all the time and she loved what she did and she was very much so a big part of this business, and big spirit here, and it just didn`t seem right for her station to be there empty. And so what we did was fill it with a beautiful memorial,” said Gemmell.
Nearby, there is a table and a vase holding three yellow flowers — which represent the three victims.
Employees are experiencing a roller coaster of emotions. But they say they’re happy to get back to work — and hope just getting back in that routine will help the healing.
Gemmell says she is now focused on helping her staff heal. The salon has been remodeled to include tributes to the three ladies who were killed in the shooting.