Convenience store opens doors after worker shot, killed in early January
6:48 PM, Jan 20, 2014
7:43 AM, Jan 21, 2014
BALTIMORE - Neighbors shuffled in and out all day. It's the first time in over a week that Latino American Deli and Grocery opened its doors.
"You doin' well?" a neighbor asked over the counter to the store's owner, Jose Melo.
It's the first day that Melo propped the doors open since the fatal shooting that happened at the shop on January 9. Melo's wife and brother-in-law were both shot as they worked the front cash register. His brother-in-law, Jose Abreu, died that same day.
"[It was] very, very, bad. Very hard," Melo said.
Neighbors who come in the shop better know Melo as 'Papi.' When they heard the news that someone opened fire, it hit too close to home.
"[They said] I'm sorry, Papi. I'm sorry. Anything, let me know. Anything let me know. You want something for free, I'll charge you nothing. Anything, Papi, let me know," he said. "People come in and I cry."
Crowds came in Monday not necessarily just to shop, but to hug, grieve, and send their condolences.
"Ya'll have my heart, my prayers," a customer said to Melo, leaning over the counter.
"It's like a sign of hope, you know, that, again, people are committed," said Cynthia Tensley, Vice President of the Carrollton Ridge Community Association. "And despite the heartache and tragedy that they're obviously still going through and will be going through for quite a while, that they're still committed to still be here to service this community."
Melo says his wife was shot four times, but is recovering well. He says finding the shooter would bring closure to his family.