One year later: Jeff Davis murder remains unsolved

Alex Alatiyat
Alex Alatiyat

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Eric Blackstock - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - One year ago today, a beloved convenience store clerk was gunned down at his counter. It was the first in a series of armed robberies along Jeff Davis Highway and his murder remains unsolved.

Alex Alatiyat and his brother Mohammad opened the 'Come and Go Food Market' four years ago. They came to America from Jordan looking for a better life. Alex's life ended inside his piece of the American dream.

"Every time I come here I see my brother behind the counter," said Mohammad. "We used to come here and talk to each other and laugh together. He was a very happy person."

When Alex opened the store on Jeff Davis, his brother warned him it was a tough area, but Mohammad says, Alex wanted to make a difference.

"If somebody want some money for food he used to give it to them. He helped a lady get off the drugs because he was talking to her," said Mohammad.

Alex was known to give people extra time to pay if they didn't have the money up front.

On June 9, 2009, Alex was behind the counter when a man in a poncho walked into the store. William Lewis was working the register.

"He (the shooter) came in right to the counter and pointed a gun and said give me the money and shot," Lewis said.

Alex only had enough time to raise his hands in the air.

Lewis said, "He didn't give him time to respond."

Walking behind the counter Mohammad said, "(The shooter) came behind the counter and he stepped over my brother and he came and told the other guy who work here give me the money."

"Oh my god. I was scared to death," said Lewis with tears in his eyes.

"My brother died here, right here." Mohammad pointed to the floor behind the counter.

Alex's murder remains unsolved. Mohammad says Richmond Police tell him they have a suspect in mind, who may have been involved in other crimes on Jeff Davis, but they've been waiting for the FBI to review video of the shooting caught by a security camera. A video Mohammad has never allowed himself to watch.

"That day I had lunch with him. We was talking and laughing. And that's what I want to keep in my mind," said Mohammad. That's the image he always wants to remember.

There is a $2,500 reward being offered in this case. If you have any information that could help police solve Alex's death, call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

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