WILDWOOD, Fla. - Police in Sumter County are on the hunt for the person they said gunned down a central Florida father of four at the neighborhood convenience store where he worked.
According to investigators, the shooting happened during a robbery Tuesday night around 10 p.m., just after the store, Kamal's Mini Mart, had closed for the night.
In the area of Wildwood known as The Corner, locals told Channel 9's Berndt Petersen they couldn't believe what happened at the convenience store that they all frequent.
"We were concerned about the man because we know him. Everybody knows him. We couldn't understand somebody doing that to him," said neighbor Evone Jackson. "He has a little girl. He usually has his little girl with him. That's sad. That's very sad."
Police said that just after closing time, store manager Abdelwahab Kandah was shot to death in the parking lot.
"That's just sad. And he has kids," said neighbor Caroline Larris.
Detectives said a robber confronted Kandah as he got into a
minivan. According to investigators, the man demanded money and opened fire as Kandah tried to drive away.
Police say Kandah was hit twice, and the van rolled through the street and crashed into a tree.
"It was just brutal that you have to shoot somebody that many times, or just shoot at them period," said Larris.
"I know the family. I spoke with his brother this morning. He's doing the best he can, but he's lost. I asked about the wife, who I know. I haven't spoken with her personally, but I don' think she really comprehends what's going on yet," said Wildwood Police Chief E.W. Reeser.
No arrests have been made and police have yet to release a description of the suspected assailant.
Police say there were some people in the area when the shots were fired and they have gotten some useful information.
The store has been robbed before and two employees were shot.
"(In) 2006 there was a robbery with a double shooting. Both of those victims did survive," said Reeser.
The gunman in that shooting is in prison.