(Sardis, MS) A Sardis Mississippi convenience store owner was shot to death during a robbery.
Now we’ve learned one of the teens arrested was a former employee.
When the robbers opened fire, they not only hit and killed the owner Tareq Saleem Abuathia, but they shot another employee also.
Roosevelt Coley was shot twice and taken to The MED
He’s out of the hospital now and at home.
The violence has the owner’s family wondering if it’s worth staying in the Panola County town.
Tareq Athiah is grieving for his cousin Tareq Saleem Abuathiah, “Everybody loved him, everybody. Everybody loved that man. If you needed his clothes off his back he was willing to give it to you.”
Nineteen year-old Marcus Thomas, a former employee, and 18-year old Derrick Walton, were arrested a few days after the murder.
Both have been charged with capital murder.
Tareq Athiah was outside his convenience store, two blocks away, when he heard the gunshots, “And I heard the first gunshot. I thought it was from the neighborhood. When I heard the second and third shot I jumped in my car and came to the store.”
Video from one of the store’s security cameras caught a suspect wearing a unique skull coat.
The man, believed to be Marcus Thomas, could be seen pointing a gun.
Tareq Athiah says he won’t ever forget seeing his cousin on the pavement, dying, “And I seen him laying there. and I grabbed him and I hold him and he took the last breath with me.”
Plans are in the works to install more security cameras at the store in hope of discouraging any more robberies.
The crime has shaken Athiah’s trust in the community, “We hurt. The customers is hurt. It makes don’t even want to come to this area anymore.”
Customers, like Veronica Heffner, miss the man they came to know simply as ‘Eric’, “I feel bad about it. It hurts, you know. Cause ‘Eric’ was a real good guy. He didn’t bother nobody. you know. Anything you asked him for, you had it.”