A Jamaican-born entrepreneur who built an empire around beef patties shot himself to death in his Bronx, NY factory around 5 p.m. Saturday.
Golden Krust CEO Lowell Hawthorne, 57, killed himself after the feds informed him that he was being investigated for evading millions of dollars in income taxes, The NY Post reports.
Surveillance video shows Howell shooting himself in the head inside his office shortly after 2 employees left the room. The 2 employees are seen crouching down as they reenter the office. One of the employees is seen calling 911.
The married father of three was found dead on the floor of his office. A handgun was found near the body.
Hawthorne was a Jamaican immigrant who built his empire from a single fast-food eatery on East Gun Hill Road in the Bronx in 1989. His meat patties were a huge hit among the Jamaican immigrant community in the Bronx. He eventually employeed dozens of relatives as employees.
The company has more than 120 franchises in 9 states.
“He was always an upbeat guy,” said Al Alston, who met Hawthorne 30 years ago when they both worked as accountants for the NYPD.
Alston owns a Golden Krust franchise in Queens, NY.
“We’ve been in a lot of tough jams and situations, but he was always a person who’d say, ‘We’ll get out of it.’ And we would get out of it,” said Alston.