Customers hold vigil for ‘sweetheart’ clerk killed at deli

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PETERSBURG, Va. – Dozens of people gathered outside a Petersburg deli for a vigil to honor a worker fatally shot on the job earlier this week.

Customers came to the Fast Stop Deli on S. West Street to pay their respects on Saturday.

Police were called to the business at about 9:33 p.m. Tuesday to investigate an armed robbery and shooting.

Officers said they found the worker wounded. He was taken to the hospital where he died of his injures on Wednesday.

A teddy bear, balloons, flowers and other tributes adorn the deli where a manager was killed.

A teddy bear, balloons, flowers and other tributes adorn the deli where a manager was killed.

Keenisha Tucker. the woman who coordinated Saturday’s vigil, was a frequent customer of the deli who said the victim was a "sweetheart" who had a big impact on the community.

“It’s been like two or three times when I didn't have gas in my car, and I would go into his store and talk to me and he'll give it to me,” Keenisha Tucker, who coordinated the vigil, said. “It's been times I didn't have food in my fridge, and we`ll go to the store, and he'll make sure I'm good. He loved my son to death and I'm really going to miss him.”

Customer Miangel Brown was devastated by the loss.

“It’s just messed up because he did a lot of nice stuff for a lot people and then somebody goes in and does this to him?" Brown said. "It’s just messed up.”

Another customer said the community plans to keep an eye on the shop.

“We’re going to keep his door looking pretty, to keep his memory alive,” another customer said.

This latest crime is the city’s fifth murder in three months and second shooting of the week.

Police are still looking for the shooter, but have not yet released a suspect description. Investigators said they hopes surveillance video from the store would yield additional leads.

Police asked anyone with information that could help investigators to call Petersburg/Dinwiddie Crime Solvers at 804-861-1212.

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