Posted at: 09/26/2013 9:45 PM
Updated at: 09/27/2013 10:31 PM
By: Jennie Olson
A somber anniversary is being marked in Minnesota Friday; it’s been one year since the deadliest workplace shooting in the state.
On Sept. 27, 2012, Andrew Engeldinger opened fire at Accent Signage in Minneapolis, killing six people before shooting himself.
Those victims are being remembered one year later. A Friday night vigil was meant to further the healing process that has begun in many of their lives. It took place in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood, and Minneapolis flew flags at half staff.
A lot has changed since that deadly workplace shooting. Many of the victims and families have chosen to be active advocates in favor of gun control.
The owner’s son, Sami Rahamim, has been lobbying the Minnesota Legislature, U.S. Congress and even the White House to push for stricter gun laws.
The only wounded survivor of the shooting, Dr. John Souter, also pushed for universal background checks back in March.
“I was shot twice – one through the lung, and the same bullet crushed two ribs,” Souter said. “Since I’ve gotten involved in gun violence with Protect Minnesota, it’s given me a purpose, something to work for every day.”
Meanwhile, Accent Signage is at the center of a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of one of the victims, Jacob Beneke.
This summer, a Hennepin County judge decided to allow the lawsuit to go forward, meaning lawyers can argue to a jury that Accent Signage was grossly negligent in failing to prevent the shooting. The judge says an employer generally bears the duty of providing a safe workplace, which includes warning employees of dangers.
Accent Signage released the following statement Friday in honor of the anniversary:
On September 27, 2012, many of our friends and co-workers tragically lost their lives. The loss has had an unimaginable impact on many families and has taken a tremendous toll on our company.
Our employees have shown incredible resolve this past year, which has allowed Accent to persevere under incredibly challenging circumstances. We also wish to thank our customers, vendors and the community for the outpouring of support we have received in the past year.
This Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the horrific events that forever changed our lives. Out of respect for our co-workers and the families of those who lost loved ones, we will be observing the solemn day privately. We would ask that you keep our fallen colleagues, their families, and our staff in your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.