Accent Signage employees back at work

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November 5, 2012 // UPDATED 6:01 pm - January 1, 2013
By: Journal staff
Journal staff

BRYN MAWR — Accent Signage Systems employees “will never get over” the Sept. 27 shooting that left five of their coworkers and UPS delivery driver dead, but they want it known they are back at work, said Shereen Rahamim.

Rahamim was the wife of company founder

Shereen Rahamim spoke Oct. 22 outside of Accent Signage Systems, the company her husband, Reuven, founded.

Reuven Rahamim, 61, who died in the rampage. Thirty-six-year-old Andrew Engledinger of Minneapolis opened fire on the day he was told he’d lost his job, and was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the company’s basement.

Rahamim and company spokesperson Wendy Khabie on Monday morning expressed their gratitude for the outpouring of community support following incident, one of the worst instances of workplace violence in the city’s history. Mayor R.T. Rybak, Police Chief Tim Dolan and company employees joined the two as they read from prepared statements on the street outside the business, located at 2322 Chestnut Ave. W.

“A eulogy at one funeral concluded with the following line: ‘I will never get over this and I don’t have to.’ That is exactly how we feel,” Rahamim said. “But while we will never get over this, together we will get through it.”

Rybak said “virtually all” of the company’s employees returned to work after the shooting, many of them as early as Oct. 8. He said the company, a manufacturer whose signature product is a Braille sign system used around the world, was “even more important” to the city after the shooting, and pledged his support.

Rybak praised the work ethic at the business, noting some Accent employees worked over the previous weekend to fill a large order.

“Accent gets work done,” he said.

They are doing so after the loss of several key employees. Besides Reuven Rahamim, those killed included Rami Cooks, 62, of Minnetonka; Ronald Edberg, 58, of Brooklyn Center; Jacob Bruce Beneke, 34, of Maple Grove; and Eric Rivers, 42, of St. Paul, who died of his injuries Oct. 10 at Hennepin County Medical Center. Also dead is UPS driver Keith Baskinski, 50, of Spring Lake Park, who had pulled into the Accent Signage loading dock moments before Engledinger opened fire.

Engledinger’s parents, Chuck and Carolyn, have said publicly they believe their son was suffering from a mental illness, and that despite their efforts to get him help he grew estranged from his family in recent years.

With the police investigation into the incident concluded, Khabie said, “our focus is on healing and getting back to work.”

Rahamim said those who still wish to help should consider contributing to a Wells Fargo bank account established for the victims and their families. A link to more information on donating to the fund can be found on the business’ web page, accentsignage.com.