MIAMI GARDENS (CBS4) – Family and friends are looking for answers after the owner of a Miami Gardens convenience store was gunned down in the parking lot of his business early Thursday morning. Meanwhile, police are trying to determine why he was targeted for death.
The shooting happened just after midnight in front of the Amerika Food Mart at NW 22nd Avenue and 156th Street.
The owner of the store, Shahid Mahmood, 58, was sitting in his vehicle when he was shot several times. Mahmood was airlifted to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital where he died.
Rabia Mahmood told CBS4′s Peter D’Oench that she can’t believe her uncle’s life was taken.
“It wasn’t his time,” she said. “He shouldn’t have gone like this. His life was taken away from him. He was very, very loving to our entire family. He’s going to be missed.”
His best friend, Khalid Javed, said he can’t believe Mahmood is gone.
“(He was a) very good guy,” Javed said. “Everybody loved him in the neighborhood.”
Friends and family described the committed husband and father as a kind, loving man with no enemies. He and his partner ran the store for only 8 months, the partner told D’Oench.
Khalid Ansari, who lived near Mahmood, said, “He was a good guy. He was a gentleman. I am shocked.”
Police reportedly do not think this was a robbery attempt because nothing was taken from the convenience store.
But sources told D’Oench that Mahmood and the suspect had some sort of dispute that may have involved property.
It was just after midnight when the night clerk at Amerika Food Mart heard three gun shots just outside the store.
“I ran outside and he was a lying semi conscious in the car,” friend and employee Amer Ahmed said.
Police said Mahmood was sitting in the driver seat when the suspect fired his gun. He had just finished working the night shift.
Amer Ahmed told CBS4′s Kara Kostanitch that he tried to help save his friend and bosses life.
“Officers told me to put the hand on the shirt…the chest where the bullet wound was to keep the pressure and the blood from flowing,” he said. “I was in shock at that moment. I only wanted him to live.”
Family and friends said they are looking for answers.
“We don’t understand why anybody would want to do anything to him,” Rabia Mahmood said. “He always been such a nice guy to everybody, even the people around him. We’re still in shock.”
“He was like a father figure to me, ever since I’ve been here,” said the victim’s niece. “He’s always been here for me. He is the only uncle I have known.”
“I hope whoever did this comes forward and if they know something, please let us know,” she added.
A perimeter was set up in the area and officers from several agencies searched by ground and from the air but were unable to find the gunman.
Police are looking at surveillance tape from the time of the crime. But it’s not known if anything useful was captured on camera.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Miami Gardens homicide detectives at (305) 474-1549 or (954) 524-6303. You can also call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS. If the tips lead to an arrest, the tipster may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000. All calls are kept strictly anonymous.