RICHMOND, Va. -- A 58-year-old convenience store clerk affectionately known as Papi was battling cancer, when he was shot several times Tuesday, according to co-workers. He's now being treated at VCU Medical Center, for wounds to the chest and leg.
"He shot him over here and it looked like Papi was running, and he shot him again." said Shareef Khataybh, whose father owns the store.
The bullets ripped through the One-Stop Food Market on Meadowbridge Road, shredding the plastic casing at where cigarettes are stored, as Papi did his best to dodge them.
"He did it really fast,” said Khataybh. “Papi put his hands up and said, 'What do you want?' and the guy started shooting."
Police believe the man that stormed into the Northside market Tuesday afternoon was trying to rob the place but got spooked before grabbing anything.
"He had on a black hat with a mask and gloves and was wearing long black pants," said Major Mike Shamus, with Richmond Police.
Papi’s community and co-workers say they’re concerned about his life-threatening injuries. "He's a second father to me, a really good man,” said Khataybh. “I’m sad this happened to him."
"He speaks to all the kids, parents, grandparents,” said Cynthia Armstrong, who lives nearby. “A very loving and caring man."
A man that's accustomed to fighting for his life against cancer, now faces another battle.
Police are still looking for the man who opened fire, but a community is angry about the violence and praying Papi pulls through. "Nobody should be done like that,” said Armstrong. “He's good people, a brother of the neighborhood. He's caring and sharing."
Police described the suspect as a black male 5'9 to 6’ with possible dreadlocks. The suspect had a shirt covering their hair. He was dressed in a black shirt with horizontal stripes. The suspect had on a mask.
The store is at the corner of Pensacola and Meadowbridge, near the Henrico County/City of Richmond line.