Todd Bachman, the chairman and CEO of family-owned Bachman's Inc, has been murdered in a random attack in China. His wife, Barbara Bachman, was also seriously injured.
The couple were sightseeing with daughter Elisabeth at the Drum Tower, a landmark in central Beijing, at the weekend. The two were stabbed by what local law enforcement authorities have asserted was a lone assailant, who consequently took his own life.
Recovering in a Beijing hospital, Barbara's condition is currently serious but stable.
Todd and Barbara's son-in-law is Hugh McCutcheon, husband of daughter Elisabeth and a coach for the US Olympic Men's Indoor Volleyball Team.
Karen Bachman Thull, Todd's niece, said: "We are deeply saddened by his loss in this tragic incident. On behalf of my mother and grandfather, I would like to express that Todd was a loving and enthusiastic messenger of love and support, not only in business, but with his family, in athletics and in his faith. His strength and wisdom inspired many," she continued.
Todd's cousin, company president Dale Bachman, released a formal statement on behalf of the fifth-generation floral, gift, garden and nursery retailer and wholesaler. He said he wanted to thank the "incredible employee family" at the Minnesota-based business.
"We know that you are hurt and grieving. Each of you is doing exactly as Todd and Barbara would wish. You are coming together to support each other. You are sharing your wonderful memories and stories of Todd. And you are continuing to serve our customers. Todd would be so pleased and so am I," he said.
Dale revealed the family has arranged for grief counselors to work with employees. The family has also created memorials to Todd at their garden centers.
"We are so touched by the floral tributes, cards and well wishes we are receiving from around the world. We have heard from customers down the block and from people from every corner of the world," said Dale.