The owners of Mario's speak out about Broadway shooting and losing business

By Mackenzie Patterson - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The owners for Mario's are still trying to process that a shooting happened on the street outside their restaurant and bar while encouraging customers the Uptown District is still safe.

A surprise birthday celebration surrounded by good friends and good food is what Julia Sellers, a regular customer, told News Leader Nine is the norm for Mario's Restaurant and Bar.

"Oh the ambiance is lovely.  Its family oriented, the food is absolutely delicious and Sylvia is a masterful cook," said Sellers

It is a stark difference to the news of four men shot on Broadway in the early morning hours of April 10th.  Some of those men were working security for Mario's Restaurant and Bar and standing with friends outside the restaurant when Columbus Police said Gregory James used a 45-caliber pistol to gun them down.

Columbus Police said this was not a random attack.  They explained after a previous dispute with the four victims, the suspect went to the Uptown District looking for the men.

For Sylvia Saad, one of the owners of Mario's, and the staff, it was a shock that struck them to the core.

"I feel sorry for the families and I hope they--this we never see this again.  It is a very nice area.  It is a very good area," said Saad.

After a drop in business, they are trying to reassure customers their restaurant is safe.

"We own businesses in Columbus downtown for over 32 years, and I never seen.  I've seen downtown, and I've seen it go back up, and I've seen it down.  Now, we see it coming back up.  I've never seen something like this.  This should not happen," said Saad.

James is charged with murder and being held without bond after one of the victims died earlier this week.

Two of the victims were treated and released with the Columbus Medical Center while a third victim is still in critical condition.

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