Founder of 'Golden Krust' chain shoots self inside factory

Video Hawthorne

Video Hawthorne

Lowell Hawthorne is the founder and CEO of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill.

The 57-year-old shot himself at approximately 5:30 pm inside the Park Ave. factory in Claremont.

Despite his rise from humble beginnings in Jamaica to one of the biggest success stories in the United States, friends and employees say he remained humble and was very generous.

In 1989, Lowell and his wife Lorna, along with four of his siblings and their spouses, pooled all their resources together to open the first Golden Krust retail location.

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News of Hawthorne's death traveled fast. "He's known from here to Jamaica", Family friend Wayne Muschamb told the New York Daily News.

"It doesn't make any sense".

The Jamaica Observer also reported on his death, noting he had previously won the newspaper's Business Leader Award. Jamaican prime minister, Andrew Holness, expressed his condolences after hearing the news.

The NY Daily News reports that some of Hawthorne's employees said they suspected something was off when they observed his vehicle parked oddly outside the factory.

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"Look how far he reached". But he didn't do badly, building his restaurant into a chain of 120 restaurants across nine states, including 16 in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Hawthorne's personal story of success is everything the American Dream is made of. "He's known from here to Jamaica", Muschamb stated.

Before he founded Golden Krust - which was inspired by his father's baker in Jamaica - Hawthorne briefly worked as an accountant for the NYPD.

The CEO and his company was also featured in an episode of the CBS reality series "Undercover Boss" that aired a year ago.

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Golden Krust reportedly became the first Caribbean-owned business in the U.S.to be granted a franchise license. He wrote an autobiography called "The Baker's Son", chronicling his life in the Caribbean and his success in NY.

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