Jamaican-born Yosef Robinson gunned down inside the MB Vineyards on Nostrand Avenue just after 9:30 p.m. Thursday.
Lahavah Wallace is still in shock, reeling from the brutal murder of her boyfriend.
Robinson, an Orthodox Jew, was working at the Kosher liquor store, visiting with Wallace when a masked gunman burst through the door.
"The guy comes in and points the gun at me and says 'Give me jewelry. Give me jewelry," she said.
She says Robinson grabbed the gunman and ordered her and others in the store to run in the back.
"I heard the shots," Wallace said, adding that Robinson would have protected anybody because "that's who he was."
Robinson, a 34-year-old hip hop artist and former drug dealer from Jamaica, converted to Judaism nine years ago after rejecting his music mogul lifestyle.
He chronicled his spiritual awakening on his website. Two years ago he moved into an Orthodox neighborhood in Midwood and became a regular at the nearby Young Israel of Flatbush synagogue.
"He came every Saturday," Rabbi Kenneth Auman said.
Robinson had become a local hero even before Thursday night, trying to bridge a sometimes tense gap between Jews and blacks in the community. He was writing a book about his life journey.
"It shouldn't have happened because you came into this store for what? And what did you leave with? The only thing you took was the most important thing in my life," Wallace said.
A $12,000 reward has been offered by the NYPD for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.
The suspect is described as being a light skinned male, 5'6"- 5'8", 160 lbs., who was last seen wearing a tan hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, with white sneakers and a tan mask.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). You can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.