Man’s first day back to work after wife’s murder is ‘hardest thing’ he’s ever done

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PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. -- It has been just over a week since police say Brandon Howell went on a killing spree in the quiet neighborhood on Woodbridge drive, and on Wednesday the husband of one of the victims shared his grief.

One man is trying to move on with his life, heading back to work on Monday after losing his wife in the shooting rampage.

The Leawood Beauty Salon, located at 2515 Somerset Dr, Leawood, KS 66206, has been closed for a week. The owner, Charles Choucroun, lost his wife, Susan, in last week's crimes, which also left four more of his neighbors dead.

In the Jewish religion, there is a seven day period of mourning, so Choucroun opened up his salon on Monday for the first time since the tragedy.

“Uh, not too good, not too good, not easy, not easy,” said Choucroun, when asked how he was feeling about his first day back.

The Tuesday his wife was murdered, Choucroun's favorite customer and best friend did not show up for her 1:00 hair appointment.

"1:15, 1:30 I call nobody answer. 2:00 I said well maybe she changed her mind and she went shopping or to the movie,” he said.

Susan Choucroun lay dead in her driveway, gunned down police say as she was leaving to meet her husband at his hair salon for a cut and color.

On Choucroun's first day back to work he was hit, once again with a reminder his wife is gone. The supplies for Susan’s missed hair appointment, sitting out never used.

"I come and I see the color there and the foil for the highlight. She should have been here Tuesday at one o'clock,” he said.

Overwhelming emotions causing Choucroun to give a second thought about his decision to come back to work so soon.

"Was very hard and thank God I have a lot of support or otherwise I was planning to call some customers I have on the book and tell them to wait until tomorrow or (the) next day," he said. "It's just shocking you know."

Choucroun says it's his customers who are helping him get through this difficult first day back to work in a salon where his wife spent so much time visiting with the customers the couple considered to be family.

"You know, they hug you, they don't want to leave you go, yeah, and Charles we are for you. Charles we are here for you,” said Choucroun.

Choucroun says he is taking things slowly. He has found Monday, that working keeps his mind occupied. He does not look forward to going home to his empty house after work though. It will be the first time in 34 years she has not been there to greet him.

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