Many attend funeral for Jim Brennan - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Final farewell to slain Cleveland Heights restaurant and tavern owner

Many loved ones attend Jim Brennan's funeral at Gesu Church. (Source: WOIO) Many loved ones attend Jim Brennan's funeral at Gesu Church. (Source: WOIO)
Gesu Church (Source: WOIO) Gesu Church (Source: WOIO)
Gesu Church (source: WOIO) Gesu Church (source: WOIO)
Jim Brennan (Source: Cleveland Heights Observer) Jim Brennan (Source: Cleveland Heights Observer)

On Saturday, friends and family gathered at the Gesu Church in University Heights to say goodbye to Jim Brennan, who was gunned down at his business, Brennan's Colony, on June 30 in the middle of the afternoon.

The news of Brennan's death affected many in and around the Cleveland Heights community. So much so, that around 1,200 people attended both a vigil and wake earlier this week.

Brennan's business was described as the heart and soul of the Cedar Lee area, while Brennan himself was repeatedly referred to as simply "a good guy."  

Brennan had been in business since 1991, providing employment to many over the years. In a twist of fate, one of Brennan's own employees would be named a suspect in the deadly attack.

Cleveland Heights Police arrested Brandon Jones, who worked in the kitchen at Brennan's Colony, along with three other males, Darien Jones (Brandon's brother), and the Turner brothers: Devonne  and Paul Turner. The Turners have extensive rap sheets, including aggravated robbery, theft, kidnapping, and animal cruelty. All four have been charged with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery.

A 19 Action News crew actually shot video the day of the murder, showing Brandon Jones at the scene of the crime just moments after the deadly incident. In the video, Jones looked as if he were cooperating with law enforcement as they began their investigation. He would later become a suspect.

As a family and community wait for justice, loved ones say that Brennan may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.

The sky was bright and blue above the church, but the day still felt dark for those going inside to say goodbye to Jim Brennan. 

"Jim Brennan couldn't have been a better guy. He reached out to everyone in the community," said friend Chip Tye. 

"He was a very caring and beautiful person...a man of vision," said friend Lisa Badger. 

Rick Cielic ate at Brennan's Colony almost every week.

"You would go in there for lunch or dinner, and the place would be packed, and he'd have to stop at five or six people on the way there, because people would just be grabbing him," recalled Cielic.

During the funeral, friends described Brennan as being generous to a fault, even paying for one man to go to school because he couldn't afford it. 

But that same generosity may have been what led Brennan to his death.

"It's hard for the whole community. I feel sorry for the parents of the people who did it, because they're hurting too," said Badger.

Brennan's loved ones are struggling with the loss, but refuse to let the tragic way he died overshadow the incredible way he lived.

"This should not be going on. Things happen like that, but you have to move on. Everybody's heart will be healed in Cleveland Heights," said friend Timothy Badger.

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