The clerk, described as a hard-working man who recently became a father, was help up at gunpoint and shot when he struggled with the thieves.
He was identified by those close to him as Jamil Bader, and he was killed while working inside the Family Grocery on Clinton Avenue around 10 p.m. It is a family business owned by the victim's father.
Police say he was confronted by three suspects who held up the store at gunpoint. Bader reportedly attempted to tackle one of the suspects when another came from behind and shot him in the back of the head.
Jamil's uncle was also in the store with customers and witnessed the horror unfold. Family members said Jamil was engaged to be married and had a 1-year-old daughter who was the light of his life.
Residents who live near the bodega were outraged.
"He works six days a week, 12 hours a day," one nearby resident said. "He wasn't your average...kid. He wasn't hanging in the street. He wasn't gang banging. He was working in the store with his father."
The suspects escaped in a dark-colored four-door vehicle. Police were looking for three men armed with a .40-caliber handgun.
It is believed they fled without any money.
A makeshift memorial has been set up at the scene.
Get Eyewitness News Delivered