Mpls. shooting victim called generous

Published 9:51 am Monday, October 1, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minneapolis business owner who was one of five people gunned down by a newly fired employee was remembered Sunday as a generous man of humble beginnings.

More than 1,000 mourners attended the service for Reuven Rahamim, founder of Accent Signage Systems. Rahamim, three other Accent employees and a UPS driver making a delivery were killed at the company Thursday when police say Andrew Engeldinger, 36, began shooting. He had been fired before the rampage, Minnesota’s deadliest workplace shooting.

Three other people were wounded in the attack before police say Engeldinger took his own life.

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Rahamim, 61, of St. Louis Park, immigrated from Israel and spent three decades building Accent Signage Systems after starting it in his basement. The business employed 28 people as of July.

“Reuven had everyone’s back,” Rabbi Alexander Davis said at Sunday’s service for Rahamim. “He was present in everyone’s lives, and he wanted to make a difference in the world.”

Rahamim will be buried later this week in Israel.

The company released a statement Sunday saying workers are “devastated,” but will carry on in memory of their colleagues.

“This senseless act has devastated us, but it will not destroy us,” the company said. “We fully intend to honor the memories of our colleagues and friends by continuing to grow the company they helped build through their hard work and dedication.”

The statement gave no new details about the investigation or Engeldinger, and police had no new information Sunday.

“Out of respect for the police investigation, and with deep compassion for those who are mourning and still recovering, we will not be releasing additional information at this time,” the company said.

A service also was planned Sunday for Rami Cooks, 62, an Accent worker from Minnetonka who has been described as Rahamim’s right hand man. Cooks’ family asked that the service remain private.

Services for two other workers are planned for this week. Ron Edberg, 58, of Brooklyn Center, will be remembered Tuesday, and the service for Jacob Beneke, 34, of Maple Grove, is Wednesday.

Funeral plans for UPS driver Keith Basinski, 50, of Spring Lake Park, haven’t been publicized.

Two of the surviving victims remained hospitalized Sunday. Accent production manager Eric Rivers was still in critical condition and director of operations John Souter was in serious condition, according to Hennepin County Medical Center.