By Ed Brock
As a 55-year-old Riverdale convenience store clerk arrived to open the store around 8 a.m. Friday, two gunmen apparently waited. They rushed into the store and as they fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, the body of the clerk lay on the floor, gunned down.
A vendor for the Sun Foods Market at 5280 Riverdale Road found the body of 55-year-old Noorali S. Ali of Grayson in the store around 8:15 a.m. Friday and called 911, Clayton County Police Capt. Tim Robinson said. Ali had been shot and Robinson said the shooting is believed to be the result of a robbery.
"The money was taken from the cash register but we don't know how much it was," Robinson said.
Spectators crowded around in the parking lot of the nearby Exxon gas station or across the street at Riverwalk Apartments as police processed the crime scene. Most of the strip mall in which Sun Foods is located was cordoned off by yellow crime scene tape.
One of Ali's family members arrived on the scene and, after receiving the news, was put into an ambulance for treatment for shock. The killing also disturbed other members of the community.
"That really hurts my feelings. I hope they catch the person," said Willene Warren. "It almost makes me want to cry."
Warren said she saw Ali the night before the shooting and described him as a "sweet man."
Ali's family had only owned the store for two or three weeks, residents said. Robinson said Ali was the brother-in-law of the owner of the store but Robinson did not release the owner's name.
Another resident who identified herself as S. Davis demanded more police presence in the neighborhood.
"We do not need excuses anymore," Davis said. "We need to see more of those uniforms before somebody else dies."
During a robbery that occurred around 10:20 p.m. Jan. 11 two men pistol whipped and shot 46-year-old Donnie Olusegun Aisida, the owner of the Exxon gas station a few doors down from Sun Foods, according to a police report.
A clerk at the gas station said Aisida is still recovering from his injuries.
Witnesses described three males, one of whom was carrying a baseball bat, leaving the area of the store on foot after the shooting.
Police located the man with the bat but he is now being treated as a witness and not a suspect.
"He is cooperating fully," Robinson said.
Robinson said the man said he was carrying the bat "for his own protection."
The first suspect was described as a dark complexion black male, 21 to 25 years old standing around 6 feet 1 inches tall wearing a white shirt and light-colored blue jeans.
The second suspect is described as a medium complexion black male in his 30s with a stocky build.
Anyone with information on the three men's identity is asked to call Clayton County police at (770) 477-3648.