'This kind of turnout speaks volumes' - Hundreds show up for bel - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

'This kind of turnout speaks volumes' - Hundreds show up for beloved restaurant owner's funeral

Donnie Hughes, owner of City Grill (Source: Parker Branton) Donnie Hughes, owner of City Grill (Source: Parker Branton)

A beloved community member is being laid to rest today following a tragedy unfolding at an east Alabama restaurant. Donnie Hughes was the owner of City Grill Cafe in Hurtsboro, a family established restaurant since the 1950's.

A city just short of 600 people came to a pause on Monday as hundreds packed inside Hurtsboro United Methodist Church to honor the beloved café owner.

Pamela Roberts who works at a local bank that Hughes frequently banked at was one of many who came to the service Monday.

“I wouldn’t expect anything else than standing room only he was a pillar of this community," Roberts said.  “Donnie coming in to get change, coming in to speak, coming in just to say,  we are definitely going to miss him.”

Sheriff’s deputies and people from across the area paying their respects.

Flowers and messages of faith being left at the front door of the café Monday as people want to keep the memory of the restaurant owner alive.

"You won't meet anyone nicer than Donnie Hughes," family friend Don Ladner said.

“We’re just going to miss his presence," Roberts said.

Over the weekend, the Russell County Sheriff’s Office confirmed a second man also died in result of the shooting, 74-year-old John Williams.

Hughes was one of four people who was shot after authorities say Walter Thomas came through the front door of City Grill Cafe, rifle in hand and opened fire in the early morning hours last Wednesday.

 Thomas faces charges of murder and attempted murder as he remains in the Russell County Jail.

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