Crime Forces Long-Time Barber To Close Up Shop

40-Year Hair Cutting Tradition Ends Next Week

A long-time barbershop business on Indianapolis' northeast side will close soon because of rampant crime that the owner no longer wants to deal with.

Bussey & Harris Barber Shop, at the corner of 30th Street and Baltimore Avenue, has been a mainstay of the community for 40 years, but that all ends next week, 6News' Jack Rinehart reported.

Last Friday, two gunmen burst into the shop, marking the second armed robbery there within two years. They only got away with a few dollars, but will wind up taking much more from the neighborhood.

"They made everybody get on the floor, took what the customers had, took what we had and ran out the door," said Don Harris.

The shop is open for business, but the doors stay locked. Friday's robbery took both a financial and emotional toll on the business and its patrons.

"I can't keep it going. The end of the month will be my last day in the area," Harris said.

Harris' father began cutting hair at the shop 40 years ago. Don Harris has cut hair at the same spot for more than a decade.

"It's sad for me, because I came here as a kid," said customer Namon Buckhalter. "It's a pretty sad situation that the neighborhood has kind of forced him out."

Fathers, sons and their sons have relied on the barber shop as a community cornerstone for decades. People will feel the closing far beyond the corner the shop sits on.

"Ten, 15, 20 years of cutting people's hair, you develop a relationship with these people," Harris said.

Harris grew up with his customers, sharing the best and worst of times. He considers them family and feels that he can no longer put them at risk.

"It doesn't take but one time to make the wrong choice, and you mess up your life and a whole lot of other people's lives," Harris said. "The legacy will go on, probably just in a different spot."

Aside from armed robberies, Harris has also persevered through several break-ins, vandalism and other damage to the shop.