Photo Credit: Chad Blumenfield
Israeli entrepreneur Reuven Rahamim was killed Thursday afternoon by a former employee of his company in Minnesota.

For two hours, last Thursday morning, Israeli entrepreneur Reuven Rahamim spoke in overflowing excitement about the success of his company, Accent Signage Systems, to journalist, Todd Nelson, a freelance writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Accent Signage Systems, according to its own website, is a leader in the interior signage industry, serving major sign manufacturers worldwide. Accent has been a major distributor for interior signage materials since 1998.

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Rahamim talked about his success, his plans for the future and his philosophy. The reporter, Nelson, said he was “passionate about his company, the products, the innovation he brought to Braille signs.” Rahamim was “family oriented,” Nelson added, he talked about his grandchildren and his environmentally friendly products.

Four hours after, essentially, summing up his life in that interview, Rahamim was killed in a workplace shooting in his factory.

Andrew Engeldinger, 36, who had been fired from his job at ASS, took out a handgun and began shooting, fatally wounding the owner, Rahamim, and four others, before killing himself, according to police.

Police said the shooting lasted less than 15 minutes. It appears that Engeldinger may have chosen to spare the lives of a few former co-workers.

Besides the owner, Reuven Rahamim, 61, Engeldinger shot employee Jacob Beneke, 34, Keith Basinski, 50, a UPS driver, Rami Cooks, 62, of Minnetonka, and Ronald Edberg, 58, of Brooklyn Center. Two other people remained at the hospital, one in serious condition and one critical condition. Four of the five men killed suffered multiple gunshot wounds.

John Croman of NBC KARE 11 interviewed Rabbi Alexander Davis of the Beth-El Synagogue in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park, where Rahamim as a trustee and active member.

“Reuven’s last name is Rahamim, which, in Hebrew means ‘merciful’ or ‘compassionate’, and that is truly who he was,” said Rabbi Davis. “He was a person of great kindness and generosity, and mercy. And it’s something that he instilled into everyone with who he had contact. And that will live on here.”

Croman reported that Rabbi Davis spent most of the day with Rahamim’s widow Shereen and their children, who were “numb with pain and shock.”

“For Reuven his family was everything to him, his beloved wife, his three children and two grandchildren,” Davis told Croman.

Rahamim shared his humble beginnings with Star Tribune’s Nelson. He grew up on a farm in Israel “with no running water and a hole in the ground for a toilet.” He started working at a sign factory at age 14. After immigrating to the U.S., he attended Dunwoody College in Minnesota.

Nelson completed his interview and left about noon.

Rami Cooks, one of the victims, was named after his uncle who was murdered in the Holocaust. His nephew, Saar Cooks, wrote the following dedication on his Facebook page:

“My grandfather’s entire family was burnt at Treblinka  Only his little brother, Yerachmiel/ Rami , managed to escape the fire. But at the very end of the war his German boss lost it and stuck a bullet in (Yerachmiel’s) head. My grandpa called his son, my uncle, after his little brother: Rami Cooks. Yesterday, in Minnesota, Rami’s employee, who was fired, lost it and stuck a bullet in (Rami’s) and several other people’s heads. Fate has a bad sense of humor sometimes.”

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Do you practive being stupid or were you born that way? Voting for Obama will keep the separation of church and state and stop all the religious fanatics from taking over! If you think willard will stop the crazies, you are more than foolish!

  2. are you really that ignorant? Obama doesn't support the MB, he supports the demcratically elected government of Egypt! That is no different than supporting the democratically elected government of Israel, or England or any other country! To add to your comment, Hashem knows what you are saying and will be very upset with you!

  3. Edward Lobel is another Mohammed hiding under an American name. You should start reading your own newspapers from 2008 as much they are supportive of Islamic Jihad. Within just a couple of months in office, Obama invited the MB to his speech in Egypt which Mubarak outlawed and since then has had hundreds of MB meetings in Wash D.C. Every military move Obama has made was with support toward the MB in the Arab Spring countries, and the list is too long to post here in facebook. If all you can do is insult without facts, take a look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself the question: "If this were the last sentence you were to say before you die, what would you say?"

  4. The little bit I may have forgotten about being Jewish is more than you will ever know!

    Now lets get on to mimportant things.
    YOU ARE AN IDIOT TO TRY TO INSLULT ME!
    YOU KNOW NOTHING, SORT OF LIKE WILLARD ROMNEY OR PAUL RYAN, YOU LIE ABOUT EVERYTHING!

    This is America, where we have freedom of religion (if we did not, there wiould be no Jews in America!) Our president is not a fool or a stooge like Bibi. If the MB is the duly elected government of Egypt
    we do not have to like it, but they are recognized. It is easier to deal with someone you recognize than sime one you shun.

    I will repeat it again, YOU ARE AN IDIOT AND TRYING TO INSULT ME WILL ONLY SHOW EVERYONE THAT YOU CONTINUE TO BE AN IDIOT!

    You simply do not know what you are telking about. It's like you are a teenager thinking with your (very small) head, and not your big head.

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