Friends, Family of Accent Signage Victims Grieve and Remember
Friends and family of the victims in Thursday's mass shooting at Accent Signage spent the day planning memorial services and funerals for their loved ones. Most couldn't bear to talk publicly about the incredible sense of loss they're feeling--a lot of them just wanted to quietly share stories and memories in private.
Calling him a dedicated family man, mourners gathered at the home of 50-year-old Keith Basinski in Spring Lake Park. Basinski was the UPS driver who was killed. "They're just trying to keep it together as best they can," said Nina Nguyen. She has been Basinki's next-door neighbor for 22 years. She said he essentially raised his three now-grown children all by himself.
"While growing up he was over here helping us fix up our house," Nguyen explained. "We would help him fix his house. He would stop in the middle of the yard and talk to my mom for hours if he could. He was just a really nice guy."
In Brooklyn Center at the apartment complex of one of the other victims, Ron Edberg, his sister was too distraught to talk, except to say her brother was divorced with two grown children--one of whom just got married in Hawaii. Edberg was the design production supervisor at Accent.
In Minnetonka, the next-door neighbor of 62-year-old Rami Cooks said he was the best neighbor one could possibly have, "a wonderful man who always greeted me with a smile." Cooks oversaw day-to-day operations at Accent.
At the Maple Grove Art Center, executive director Lorrie Link pointed to a piece of artwork on the wall called "White Rabbit."
"It's very whimsical and fun," she said. The sculpture is one of 34-year-old Jacob Beneke's abstract art pieces. "It makes you laugh and it makes you feel good," Link said.
Beneke, who was the digital imaging supervisor at Accent, showed his art at the center, and also served on the board. "He wanted to do anything he could do to help the arts center because arts was his passion," link explained.
Beneke lived in Maple Grove with his wife and young son, who went everywhere with him. "We lost a great person," Link said.
Mark Saxenmeyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org