Brooklyn deli clerk found dead with laceration in basement

Dray Clark reports from East New York.
January 10, 2014 8:25:59 PM PST
A Brooklyn deli clerk was discovered dead with a head laceration in the basement of his store early Friday.

Friends say 55-year-old Hisham Zidan knew the dangers of working alone, in a corner store, during late night hours, in a not so friendly neighborhood.

Robbery was a real risk.

"It happened to him before. He got robbed one time but he told them take the money, just save my life," said Abdullah Mohamed, a coworker.

Perhaps he made the same plea to the people who robbed him early Friday morning and left him to die in this deli on Stanley Avenue, in the East New York section of Brooklyn.

Around 5 a.m., a customer called 911 after walking into the store and seeing the register on the floor.

Officers found Zidan in the basement with a fatal head injury.

"They took a metal piece, I don't know. They just smacked him with it," Mohamed said.

Abdullah Mohamed, who also works at the store, believes the robbers broke in through a back door and waited for Zidan in the basement where he would often go to use the bathroom.

The robbers took money, cigarettes, and scratch offs.

More importantly, they took a father away from his eight children, and a husband from his two wives, who all live in Jordan.

"So he comes here and works to get money?" Eyewitness News asked.

"Yeah and go back home," Mohamed said.

Mohamed says Zidan would've given the robbers the money but he probably never had a chance to say a word before he was hit over the head and killed.

"He was a really good guy. He mined his own business," Mohamed said.