It's been a year and a half since a Navasota Liquor Store owner was shot and killed during a robbery.
Now two local residents are reopening the store under a new name while remembering the former owner Don Stolz, whose killer is still on the loose.
Al Meschke is still getting up to speed as the new co-owner of MWS Liquor Store in Navasota, which opened the day before Thanksgiving.
"It's amazing the people that come here, I've had 'em make it as far as the door and they start to cry and I've had others come in and they just wander around and try to talk about the old days when Mr. Stolz was here," said Al Meschke of Navasota.
It was on July 17, 2009, that tragedy struck the close knit community of Navasota.
57-year-old Don Stolz was shot and killed during a robbery around noon at the Stolz Liquor Store.
Meschke and his neighbor Bobby Walker got the idea of reopening the store earlier this year, but someone else beat them to it and then the competitor's deal fell through.
The New MWS store stands for Meschke, Walker and Stolz.
"Yeah it was tragic. For a small town that's a really big deal of course," said Bill Sears of Navasota.
Bill Sears has lived in Navasota for 30 years and stopped by the new store Thursday.
"Oh yes of course, knowing the owner that kind of directed me down here too. Anytime we have a new business that's good," Sears said.
Richard Garza used to come into the original store with his dad as a kid.
"Glad to see somebody is keeping it's history alive, opening it back up, not letting it sit here and fall apart and get run down like a lot of things in the community that they do now, people close up and nobody moves back and it just gets run down and tore up," said Richard Garza of Navasota.
It's a lot different than what Stolz Liquor Store looked like. The new owners gutted the inside, added extra lighting, and state of the art security system while never forgetting that Don Stolz' killer is still on the loose.
"We're pretty much up to speed, that's not to say something couldn't happen but we're prepared for that too so. I would like to think it was an isolated incident and we won't have to worry about it. We're just gonna move forward," said Meschke.
Moving forward while remembering the man who came before.
"It's always gonna be Stolz's package store and we're alright with that," Meschke said.
A ribbon cutting and official grand opening is set for the store on Monday at noon.
The investigation into the Don Stolz murder is ongoing.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.