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September 24, 2012 06:00 PM

Hair Salon Helps Employees Following Shooting

It's been 13 days since the deadly hair salon shooting on 41st Street in Sioux Falls.

While the salon is back open for business, the last few weeks have been emotionally trying for all of those involved.

Amanda Connors was gunned down outside of the hair salon and four employees and two children were hostages inside for a while.

While the shooter eventually killed himself, it's still hard for some employees to return to work.

Connors was the 24-year-old manager of Cost Cutters who Sioux Falls police hailed a "hero." Connors tried to stop the shooter from entering the salon and hurting anyone.

In her act of bravery, Connors was shot and killed.

Connors' styling vanity at Cost Cutters is adorned with flowers and gifts from customers paying their respects. Employees have also placed a picture of Connors there to help remember how her bravery and death might have saved the rest of them.

"We stayed closed for a few days. This is Sioux Falls. This really doesn't happen to a lot of people around here, especially a salon," Cost Cutters general manager Kaylee Spolum said.

Employees were given time off to work through the emotions a hostage situation and fatal shooting at their work can create. Some employees have returned; Spolum says some are not quite ready. The company is providing counseling to help everyone with the transition.

"We actually had counseling for the girls to kind of help them through their emotions and let them talk about their feelings. We had a group one and then they are welcome to go individually as often as they want," Spolum said.

At the salon, one of the things managers did was make changes to the break room where employees spend personal time.

"Painted it just to get a different, warmer color in there. (We) hung some pictures, inspirational pictures in there. We have a big picture of Amanda in there that we all signed and wrote things at the bottom. We appreciate everyone's support with all the customers we've had. Lost of cards, calls, concerns and we really appreciate that," Spolum said.

Spolum says the Sioux Falls community is supporting the salon and its employees.

She's also pleased to see how many people have donated to the Amanda Connors Fund at Wells Fargo bank. As of Monday afternoon, $3,135 have been donated in Connors’ memory.

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  • Sioux Falls, SD
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