Calls for justice in murder of Staten Island deli worker

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, July 11, 2023
Calls for justice in murder of Staten Island deli worker
Community leaders want justice in the murder of a Staten Island deli worker.

RICHMOND TERRACE, Staten Island (WABC) -- A community on Staten Island is grieving Tuesday after a well-known and beloved owner of a deli was shot and killed over the weekend.

The 35-year-old victim, Bassem Alkhateeb, was working when two suspects tried to rob the store on Saturday night.

Alkhateeb, whose birthday is Tuesday, leaves behind two young children and a wife who are now coping with the devastating loss as police try to find the suspects.

Friends and loved ones gathered at the Masjed Noor Al-Islam Society before the funeral prayer for Alkhateeb. They prayed for him and demanded harsher penalties so that criminals will think twice about assaulting or killing hard-working store owners like him.

"Be a man and come forward, you took an innocent man's life - he had two children and a widow," said Hazem Al Asad, the co-owner of store.

The suspects didn't get away with anything and then drove away in a red or maroon Jeep or SUV.

The crime happened in a community that Alkhateeb thought was safe and a good place to raise his family.

"He wanted to have a good business, safe home, buy a house and make a life... wanted the best for his kids - be a doctor," said his wife Khadiga Abo-Obaid.

Friends say he was the most loving and understanding store owner - he never even demanded payment. He kept a black book so that he could extend store credit to people could not pay.

"I've never seen a violent moment from this man, for those two men to come in here and kill him like that, I don't understand," said friend Azimna Burgosgorham.

Jennifer McKenzie worked for him and was with him an hour before he was killed.

"He was like a father to me," she said.

ALSO READ | Suspect charged with murder in Brooklyn, Queens shooting spree on illegal scooter

Thomas Abreu, 25, was taken into custody by police and on Sunday was charged with murder, attempted murder, and criminal possession of a weapon. Kemberly Richardson has the details


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