Tulsa Hamburger Restaurant Reopens After Owner's Death

Tuesday, August 11th 2015, 6:09 pm
By: News On 6

Police are trying to find the person responsible for shooting and killing the owner of a popular hamburger shop.

Tuesday, Ted’s Hamburgers re-opened for the first time since the shooting, and customers are hoping for justice.

Homicide detectives believe someone confronted and shot owner Jim Coulson outside his store early Friday morning. One of his employees later found him inside the restaurant, murdered.

For more than 50 years, Ted's Hamburgers has been a fixture in the neighborhood across from Central High School. Customers like Joe Davis said they feel like they're more than just a number on a ticket.

"You feel special. I mean they know who you are and they cook good food, it's cooked to order, it's not sitting under a lamp, it's a good place," he said.

Davis said Coulson, his longtime friend, took pride in his family-owned business.

"Jim had qualities about him that automatically drew people in," Davis said.

Tuesday was the first time since someone shot and killed Coulson that customers and friends have been able to eat at the restaurant.

Police are still investigating Coulson’s murder.

8/10/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Restaurant Owner Shot To Death, Medical Examiner Confirms

"We don't know what the motive is. We don't think he went into the store to get in the register, because if he would've done that there would've been certain evidence of that occurring. We believe that Mr. Coulson was shot outside and then stumbled back in," said Tulsa Police Sergeant, Dave Walker.

Detectives believe the break in the case will come from the community.

"If we were to solve it today or tomorrow, it will come from the community. Somebody out there knows something, and yeah, we certainly want you to call Crime Stoppers," Walker said.

As friends like Derek Cairns continue to honor Coulson, a memorial grows inside the lobby of his restaurant.

"He's a pretty good guy. I don't know why anyone would do this," Cairns said.

Employees, like Gerri Barnes, were happy their regular customers returned during such a tough time.

"It's nice to see them come and support us again, you know, keep coming back. Our customers are great. We know most of their orders by heart," Barnes said.

If you know anything about the murder, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.

Coulson's funeral will be held Saturday in Sperry at 11:00 at Community of Christ Church.