LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—The shooting deaths of Paul and A.J. Petras have been shocking for everyone including downtown businesses.
Some business owners didn't want to talk about the shooting for many reasons, some out of respect for the family, others in fear; but, at one shop today, the chatter was a bit different.
At a beauty salon, gossip comes with the territory.
"If something's going to happen it's going to happen," Tricia Culpitt, Orange Pearl Salon Stylist said.
"Certainly it was a topic of conversation," Chantel Turk, Orange Pearl Salon Owner said.
"That one struck me. Not a lot of things do that anymore," Culpitt said.
After choosing the perfect hair color.
"I could go darker because it's fall," Tami Holtslander, Customer said.
Conversations turned a bit darker.
"People getting shot in the middle of the day...that sort of freaks you out a little bit," Culpitt said.
"I think in general, downtown is one of the safest places to be because there are people around all the time," Turk said.
But to add some piece of mind Turk is amping up security.
"I was actually planning on putting in security cameras any way but it certainly kind of sealed my decision on doing so," Turk said.
Some clients like Holtslander, although shaken up, said she's not changing anything either, except maybe hair.
"I won't change my pattern whether or not I should come downtown. I'll still come downtown," Holtslander said.
Even though the shooting is still fresh on their minds, the only chit chat behind these walls is sympathy for the family.
"I think it's horrifying for everyone who went through it because in the end somebody lost a brother or a son or a husband," Holtslander said. "That kind of loss in that shocking manner has got to be unimaginable for them."
The La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce thinks the shooting is so unbelievable because no one expects that to happen in La Crosse.
"It's tragic for the family of course," Dick Granchalek, Chamber President said. "It's tragic for the business and our sympathy and thoughts go out to them but the community as a whole needs to move on and just be more cognizant and more aware of what's going on around them."
Granchalek said we have a safe community; but this goes to show we need to keep doing things like locking our cars and keeping an eye on what's happening around you.
He said the shooting is affecting owners and employees more than business customers are still coming downtown.
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