CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A 34-year-old Strongsville father of four was fatally shot while working Thanksgiving day at a corner store on Cleveland's East Side.
Police identified the man as Moussa Salti, who was married with four small children.
Salti was on the job at the Little Eagle Supermarket on East 93rd Street just north of Kinsman Road when two or three men attempted to rob the place about 3:30 p.m.
Two people were injured. After being shot, Salti was rushed to MetroHealth Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 4:05 p.m.
The other victim was not taken to a hospital.
Police said nothing was stolen. Police are seeking three black males, who came into the store wearing hooded sweat shirts and masks. At least one of the suspects was armed, police said.
As homicide detectives and crime scene technicians investigated inside the store, regular customers gathered outside and lamented the senseless act of violence.
Salti had worked in the neighborhood for at least a decade, customers said. They said Salti extended credit to regular customers when they were between checks, knew the neighborhood children by name and gave them candy.
One of those customers, 41-year-old Jackie Pickett, was making Thanksgiving dinner just hours earlier when she realized she was out of paper towels. She said she was thankful the Little Eagle open on the holiday and that Salti was behind the counter.
"He said 'Happy Thanksgiving' and gave me $100," Pickett said. She said the unexpected gift, the sort of kind act that endeared Salti to everyone.
Pickett offered to bring Salti over a plate of turkey with all the fixings.
"He said no, he was going to go home and have dinner with his family," she said.
That family dinner never happened.
Nearby residents said Salti had just recently returned from a weeks-long overseas vacation and had been especially cheery in his perch behind the counter within arms reach of cigarettes, lottery tickets and the sign reading, "Welcome to the Little Eagle -- Ice Cold Beer."
Regular customers and officers on scene said they could not recall any other robberies at the store in recent months.
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