Restaurant owner killed in home break-in in Spring

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Restaurant owner killed in home break-in in Spring

The fatal home break-in that left one brother dead and another injured is hard to believe for a local Spring community.

The flower bouquets are growing at the shuttered doors of Sunny Side of the Street restaurant. The heartfelt notes posted on the windows talk about love and quotes verses from the Bible. There is no doubt Michael and Sabastian Kusuma, as well as the restaurant they were known for, are loved in this Spring neighborhood.

"I couldn't believe it," said amateur food writer Nick Rama, who got to know the brothers after visiting their restaurant and then writing about them for a local website.

"You can tell they had a passion for what they did, it's just a really sad situation," he said.

The situation is hard to believe for neighbors in Spring. Harris County Sheriff's investigators said on Sunday night, that two suspects forced their way into the home shared by the brothers. Investigators believe the suspects, described as African-American, wanted money from the brothers. They shot and killed older brother Michael, and injured Sabastian. The suspects then fled in a white car.

"It sounded like a muffled pop," recalled neighbor Gerry Fehrman. "I was in the backyard with my dog, when I came out to the front, that's when all the cop cars showed up."

Fehrman and other neighbors describe the brothers as kind and generous. They would often contribute to neighborhood fundraisers and gatherings. A few years ago, the brothers opened their cheerful breakfast and lunch restaurant with the help of their uncle, Tony Kusuma. Recently, they returned the favor by giving advice to other new restaurant owners in the area.

"He's a really good friend," said Todd Lam, who opened Banh Mi Houston on the same street a few months ago. "He came and talked, we are newly opened, so he taught us what to do."
The restaurant's doors remained closed today, as well-wishers dropped notes and continued to stop by and pay their respects.

"It's devastating, I just found out, it was Michael, I don't know what to say. I just want to give condolences to their family," said Lam.

"Kind of scary to know there are people who watch other business owners, and try to take advantage of them," said Brian Hosford, another frequent customer.

No one knows what will happen to the restaurant. But until the killers are caught, this Spring neighborhood will remain on edge.

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