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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Friends of a popular convenience store owner who was gunned down in broad daylight Tuesday afternoon are pleading for the public’s help in this case.
As we saw Wednesday afternoon, they have also been flocking to his store on State Road 7 at S.W. 17TH St. to drop off flowers and a makeshift memorial in his honor is growing.
Some friends break down and shed tears as the place flowers outside Molly’s Food Store which the victim had owned for about 10 years.
An emotional Joaquin Nieves spoke about the victim, 61-year-old Ayub Ali, who was a married father of four children—-two of whom had survived the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. Ali had come to the U.S. from Bangladesh.
“I can’t believe he was killed in a robbery in his own store,” said Nieves. “He was a great guy. I mean he was an immigrant. He came from another country. He was a great guy. Please anyone who knows anything should speak up. This can’t happen.”
Nieves told CBS4’S Peter D’Oench, “It tears me up that this happened. I hope that someone who saw something will call the cops. I mean stop the violence.”
The Broward Sheriffs Office is not saying if it has any leads in this case. BSO is looking for surveillance tape and says it is looking for a male after Ali was shot and killed during a robbery at 12:42 p.m. on Tuesday.
Family spokesman Mirza Mustaque said, “He was a very generous person and a nice person and like my younger brother he is from the same village in Bangladesh. He was a very religious person and very friendly. It is very sad. It is very sad. This things happen but this is so unfortunate.”
Not far from Ali’s business, Ayub Hasan said “He was a very good man. I have known him for a long time. He has been in South Florida for almost 20 years. I hope they catch this guy. He should get punished for this.”
Mohammad Ahajj operates a business in the same strip mall as Ali’s business.
He said Ali was “very good and a religious person. He was nice to all his customers. I have known him for three years. We need to get this bad guy who did this off the street. I feel it is dangerous. And now operating a business here I do not feel safe.”
Ahajj, who owns Boost Mobile, said “We did have another incident several years ago in which I was robbed. But there was never anything like this.”
Anyone with information about this killing is asked to contact BSO at 954-321-4231 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477). There is a reward of up to $3,000.