Clerk shot, killed at family-run Gary convenience store

2013-08-19T19:00:00Z 2013-10-26T17:33:39Z Clerk shot, killed at family-run Gary convenience storeLauri Harvey Keagle and Elvia Malagon Times Staff

GARY | Police on Monday continued searching for suspects in the fatal shooting of a south suburban man who was working his brother's shift at their family's Gary convenience store.

Mihid Abutemeh, 28, of the 8900 block of Ridgelawn Ave. in Oak Lawn, was pronounced dead at 1:10 p.m. Sunday at Food Mart, 1650 Virginia St., the Lake County coroner's office said.

The cause of death was listed as a gunshot wound to the chest suffered in an apparent homicide.

Gary police Lt. Delmar Stout said officers on Monday continued canvasing the neighborhood and following leads. Police responded to the store at 12:15 p.m. Sunday after receiving reports of shots fired in the area.

The shooting stemmed from an armed robbery inside the store by three unidentified suspects, Stout said. Police aren't sure if anything was stolen.

"It's just a really small store," he said. "They sell candy and other small items. Even if they would have gotten anything, it would have been next to nothing."

Police said the family rented space for the convenience store but did not own the building. One of Abutemeh's brothers told investigators at the scene that Abutemeh was not scheduled to work Sunday, but insisted on working to give his brother a day off.

Stout said Abutemeh was the only person working at the store Sunday. The store was robbed a few months ago, but a different clerk was working at the time.

Sunday's death marks the city's 36th homicide of the year. Gary logged 43 homicides in 2012.

Local, county, state and federal officials are coordinating efforts to curb the violence.

Anyone with information about Sunday's homicide is asked to call Gary police Cpl. Mike Barnes at (219) 881-1210.

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