Tennessee Shooting Victim: Papa John’s CEO Attends, Pays For Funeral

A recent Tennessee shooting victim’s funeral received a surprise visit on Saturday. After Gordon Schaffer, a pizza chain employee, was shot and killed on the job, Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter not only attended the funeral, but even paid for the expenses involved in his employee’s death.

That isn’t something you see often, but even corporate businessmen sometimes support their employees in surprising ways.

Gordon Schaffer, 22, was working behind the counter at the Columbia, Tennessee, Papa John’s outlet late October when he became the victim of a robbery. As he handed over fistfuls of cash, he was shot anyway, and died before he could even reach the hospital. The prime suspect in the attack is 17-year-old Darious Fitzpatrick, whose alleged greed cost Schaffer his life.

The founder of Papa John’s Pizza, “Papa” John himself, was so touched by the news of Schaffer’s death that he went above and beyond what most business owners might do. As a way to pay his respects, a Facebook post claims he visited the family, and paid for all medical expenses and funeral costs involved in the Tennessee shooting victim’s departure. In addition, the pizza chain released a heartfelt statement following Schaffer’s death.

“We are deeply saddened by this senseless tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with the Schaffer family. The safety of our employees is our top priority. We are providing counseling for our team members, and we are fully cooperating with local law enforcement during this investigation.”

Schaffer’s sister Devan Cronin stated that John Schnatter appeared visibly moved at the funeral.

“We never once imagined that this would touch anyone high up in the Papa John’s corporate office, let alone, John Schnatter. He was visibly distraught when speaking to my family about the tragic loss of my brother and it was apparent that he didn’t come just to pay lip service. … this display of support was so much more meaningful than any monetary donation.”

Fitzpatrick was arrested on Wednesday on charges of first degree murder, felony murder and aggravated robbery in connection with the death of Tennessee shooting victim Gordon Schaffer. He is also possibly responsible for several other robberies in the area, and authorities are still looking for the other suspect who entered the Papa John’s outlet with him.

“Today we celebrated life. Today we celebrated love. My brother was a fairly simple man… To have a room filled with every family member and friend he loved would have been Gordo’s greatest dream. For most families and friends the memorial service is the end – the final goodbye. Unfortunately for us, we will all be forced to relive Gordo’s death over and over in the coming months. Pray that we remain strong in our path for justice and please continue to stand by our side. #gordoschaffer #rememberinggordo #resteasygordo #flyhighgordo #justice #justiceforgordo #love #life #memorial #tennessee #papajohns”

A photo posted by Devan Cronin (@devanjaclyn) on

The investigation is still underway for the murder of the Tennessee shooting victim, and police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 931-380-2721.

[Image via Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com]