CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The parking lot at Idlewood Baptist Church was overflowing Saturday as a community came together to say goodbye to Scott Brooks, the co-owner of Brooks’ Sandwich House, who was murdered Monday morning.
“This is such a senseless act to have to happen,” said friend Ronda Dorman. “He did so much for the community. It’s just a sad, sad situation.”
Mourners packed the church for a celebration of life that lasted several hours. Brooks will be laid to rest on Sunday.
Brooks was gunned down Monday morning around 5 am as he opened the restaurant during an attempted robbery, police said. The sandwich shop is a local Charlotte institution, having been operating in the community for nearly 50 years. Brooks co-owned the shop with his brother.
“One minute it’s just senseless and you’re angry and then you’re heartbroken because of how well you know the family,” said longtime friend Jennifer Davison. “You grieve for them. The crime has gotten out of hand here lately.”
Davidson and her husband have been friends with Brooks for more than 20 years. They met at the same church where the funeral took place. Both describe Brooks as “outgoing, jovial,” religious and caring.
“Had the person just said, ‘I’m struggling. I need some help. Scott is the kind of guy who would have said, ‘Let me whip out my checkbook. I’ll help you out. Let me give what I can,” said Davidson. “And then he’d say, ‘Come on in. Let me fix you a sandwich for breakfast.”
The family plans to reopen the restaurant next year, in memory of Brooks, Davidson and other mourners say the family told them at Saturday’s celebration of life service.
“It’s tremendous the outpouring,” said Lynn Hines, a longtime customer, who waited more than two hours with her friend to pay their respects. “It really is just to say, ‘We love you and we support you and we’re so sorry this happened to your family.’”
“I still can’t understand why he had to get shot,” she added. “I don’t understand it.”
Police are still looking for two suspects believed to be connected to the killing. If you have any information you’re urged to call CMPD. There is a $5000 reward.
The killing marks the city’s 103rd homicide this year, according to CMPD.