A beloved Washington state bagel shop owner was shot while vacationing in New Orleans and died in the arms of his husband, according to his heartbroken spouse.
Jacob Carter, co-owner of popular Tacoma eatery Howdy Bagel, was gunned down at about 1:30 a.m. Friday near Bourbon and Kerlerec streets in New Orleans’ Marigny neighborhood, The News Tribune reported.
Police said the gunman fled after shooting Carter, who was with his husband, Daniel Blagovich, when he went down. No arrests have been made.
“He died in my arms,” Blagovich, who also was Carter’s business partner, told the news outlet in a phone call Monday.
Howdy Bagel, which began as a successful farmers market operation in 2021 before opening the store on South Tacoma Way in June, announced the tragic death on its Instagram page.
“If you knew Jake, you know he was someone who exuded kindness, warmth, and genuine care to everyone he met. Jake was one of the brightest spots in the lives of everyone he loved. This loss is immeasurable for our community,” it reads.
The eatery was closed temporarily to give Blagovich and the staff time to grieve.
“In an effort to support Daniel and the whole Howdy crew, we are asking that you consider supporting Howdy in two ways. First, take care of one another,” the announcement says. “Showing up with care for one another as we grieve is a way we can honor the love that Jacob put into this world.
“Second, to give Daniel space to grieve without having to worry about the logistics of running a business, we ask that you consider donating to help cover some of the shop costs and employee wages in this difficult season,” the shop continues.
“Daniel and Jacob have been continually blown away and grateful for the ways that this community has rallied together to support Howdy Bagel. We know that in this difficult season, you will all continue to show up with love and support,” it adds.
A GoFundMe page created to cover the cost of the rent and operating expenses has raised more than $217,000.
Carter, a native of Texas, and Blagovich, who hails from West Seattle, launched Howdy Bagel after they were laid off from their jobs during the pandemic, according to The News Tribune.
The name Howdy “kind of invokes this sense of warmth and bringing people together, bringing people in and I think we are trying to foster a place of inclusiveness to everyone,” Carter told KING 5 in July.
“Daniel and I both grew up in environments they were not always that way, especially to queer folks, and so to have a storefront that feels welcoming to everyone I think is a big part of who we are and what we believe the space should be,” he said.
“There’s a lot of love that goes into each of these products,” Carter added.
Olympia Coffee, where Carter had worked part time, said it was “heartbroken” to learn of his death.
“Words cannot express the shock and pain we are in as a team at Olympia Coffee. Jake Carter was a close friend to so many in our community,” it said in a social media post.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (504) 822-1111 or police at (504) 658-5300.