Newark deli owner shot and killed

Josh Einiger has the exclusive story from Newark.
October 30, 2013 8:23:02 PM PDT
A father whose mission was to help people and get them off welfare was gunned down in his Newark deli.

"They didn't just kill him, they killed a whole community," said Steven Flagg, the victim's brother.

At the scene of yet another senseless murder in Newark, the handwritten notes to Joe Flagg tell a vivid story.

His brother Steven is crushed.

"I had to identify the body," Steven Flagg said.

In broad daylight Sunday, the 41-year-old father of four was working in his deli when someone walked in and shot him to death.

"I mean seeing him like that, in that kind of way is not a good way to see him. But I just found some kind of strength inside me to hold myself together," Steven Flagg said.

"This guy was a good guy and I don't vouch for a lot of folks but I would vouch for this guy," said Tharien Karim Arnold, Director of Neighborhood Services, City of Newark.

Arnold says Flagg made a living improving his ailing city.

"He helped people that other people wouldn't give job opportunities to," Arnold said.

"When we were a young age, he came at me with an idea, 'Let's get people off of welfare,' that's what he really wanted to do," Steven Flagg said.

The deli was just a side business. With his brother Steven, Joe started Flagg World, a business cleaning up vacant lots throughout Newark. Over the years, they employed hundreds of young people who otherwise could have been lost to the streets.

Prosecutors say the shooting appears to be an attempted robbery. The store did have cameras, but they may not have been working.

"He helped a lot of people so his life wasn't in vain," Steven Flagg said.

As detectives search for answers, Steven Flagg had a message for the person who pulled the trigger.

"They didn't only take my brother. They took somebody away from the community that other people needed for hope and other people needed to survive," Steven Flagg said.