COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Tuesday the Gold and Silver Trading Company in Columbus opened its doors to the public, just one week after a murder inside the business. The manager, Steve Toms, was shot multiple times inside the business one week ago.
News Leader 9 sat down with the owner to see how he is remembering his best friend while moving the company forward after the tragedy.
"I'm still in shock, I don't know what else to say." Gold and Silver Trading Company owner Bob Upchurch says opening up shop wasn't easy after police say someone killed manager Steve Toms inside the store, getting away with jewelry and cash, "We've been here 32 years, we're going to continue on. We'll beef up security and you'll be safe and business will go on just as usual somehow."
Upchurch says Steve Toms was not only his business partner, but his best friend. He was also a friend to almost everyone he met, "Steve was a remarkable person. He treated everybody fairly, he was kind, he'd take care of you if you needed help. There's no telling the number of people he helped and he did it out of his own front right pocket."
Since Steve's murder, the store has been closed, but Upchurch says several friends have stopped by to remember him, "The outpouring of condolences and respect has been unthinkable. People we haven't seen in 20 years would come in and express their condolences. It's been unbelievable says Upchurch."
Upchurch says he considered closing the store for good after the crime, but he says he just couldn't do that to his best friend, "He wouldn't want me to quit. He wasn't a quitter. I've never seen a fighter like him. He had no quit about it. He wouldn't want me to quit, and I'm not going to. The "Little White House" will keep on."
The Gold and Silver Trading Company is now open during regular business hours.
The memorial service for Steve Toms was held Wednesday.
Columbus police have not released any new updates in their investigation into the robbery and murder. There have been no arrests made in this case.