Grieving relatives, friends and customers of the Express Way convenience store created a memorial for the store's owner, who was killed late Monday.
Police are still trying to find the person who shot Farooq Bhimdi, 64, of Glen Allen. He was working as a clerk when someone tried to rob the store near Mechanicsville Turnpike around 9:30 p.m. Monday. He was shot three times and died at VCU Medical Center.
Many came by the store Tuesday to pay their respects to Bhimdi, who had owned the store for decades.
"They took my friend! That was my friend!" says Patricia Blowe, who was inconsolable upon learning of Bhimdi's death.
Police say he was shot three times.
"I thank God that every day I left out here, I said, "I love you Farooq," says Julia Jordan, a frequent customer.
Police tell us it was an attempted robbery and Bhimdi's body was found on the floor of the store. Now officers say they are looking for the man who did it.
It only took a short time for customers, many who come here every day, to hear what happened. They started a memorial; leaving behind stuffed animals, candles and notes. One called him Mr. Bean because they say he looked like the movie character.
"This man worked 7 days a week every day!" says Jordan.
"At some point though, it's got to stop," says Kim Davis, another customer.
Violence like this is nothing new to Blowe. She says she's known Bhimdi for more than two decades. Her son was also gunned down three years ago and another loss like this is almost too much.
"Look at what I'm going through. I'm still going through. I'm suffering and still in pain so how do you think his family feels?" she said.
Now customers are pleading for the person who did this to just come forward.
"You've got to live with this the rest of your life and it's going to haunt you," says Jordan. "It's going to eat you. It's going to burn your insides out. Until you do the right thing."
The family of Mr. Bhimdi is asking for privacy right now.
Police describe the suspect as a black male, 18-20 years old, 140 pounds wearing a brown jacket.
Police said they're searching for a one suspect in connection to this case. Investigators encourage all anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.
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