When Omar Thornton shot and killed eight coworkers, injured two more and then shot himself, the tragedy was felt throughout the entire community Hartford Distributors reaches.
That includes Thomas Hooker Brewery in Bloomfield.
Employees of the two companies are connected because HDI is the local brewery’s main distributor. HDI’s executives and employees are not just names at Thomas Hooker, they are also colleagues.
"This one hit close to home," said Curt Cameron, president of Thomas Hooker Brewery.
Cameron and his employees decided to donate all of the proceeds of an event they hosted Friday night.
“I think everyone tries to make sense out of a senseless act. You can’t,” he said.
But he can do something to help the families of the people affected by the shootings.
The help came via the brewery’s Friday Open House, a beer sampling event held a couple times each month. Attendees paid $10 to sample beer and then get a pint glass to take home.
“We just thought it would be nice to do,” Cameron said.
"It's been a very, very hard week for my brother and for the family and for all those families that are part of Hartford Distributors, and Hooker Brewery has been so kind to open their doors and all the proceeds go to all those families who have lost loved ones," said Tiffany Lynch, whose brother, Brett Hollander, works at HDI.
Between 200 and 300 people often attend the tastings, but on Friday close to 400 people showed up for the event. Nearly $7,000 was raised between tasting sales and donations collected at the door.
Each person who attended the tasting came for his or her own reason, but all wanted to support the families dealing with such tragedy.
"I, myself, work at the CT Lottery, so you know what they had gone through. I have only been there for a year, but it really hits home," said Joe Antonelli of Milford.
"I'm here because I knew a man who was killed in the tragedy on Tuesday, so I wanted to support him and his family, so that's why I'm here," said Jessica Nivison of Manchester.