A Florida store clerk has been fatally shot hours before his retirement, it has been recently revealed by law enforcement.
Ali Arezoumandifar, who was 79 years old and had been working at a Liquor Market in Boynton Beach, had sold the store a while ago, but was trying to show the new owners the ropes, before they took over the business.
He had planned that Sunday, November 22 would be his last day spent at the liquor shop, and his family had been eagerly waiting for him that evening, to celebrate his retirement with a homemade dinner.
That’s when they were contacted by police, who gave them the shocking news that Arezoumandifar had been fatally shot.
So far, it’s unclear how his murder occurred, and if the elderly man tried to fight his attacker. Apparently, theft might have been a motive for the crime, given that the cash register had been open, and its contents had been missing.
According to law enforcement, Arezoumandifar’s dead body, bearing a single gun shot wound, was found slumped on the floor, behind the counter, at around 8:10 p.m., when a shopper entered the store.
Arezoumandifar had been the victim of another robbery on 27 October, when a man wearing a black mask tried to flee after having stolen a pile of stratch-off lotto tickets, worth around $300.
At the time, the shop owner had tried to pursue the perpetrator, and managed to get a hold of him as he was climbing into his car. However, when the robber started his engine and drove away, Arezoumandifar was pushed to the ground, hurting his face and head.
Following that event, the store clerk’s family insisted that he should retire immediately, and also warned him never to try and resist attackers or go after them.
Boynton Beach Police Investigator Marco Villari was the one assigned to help identify and apprehend the thief, and that’s how he developed a friendship with Arezoumandifar, whom he took to the hospital and got to know and respect.
That is why now that he has to make an inquest into his pal’s death, Villari is particularly shaken. As he explains, crimes involving theft are obviously condemnable, but when lives are taken the loss is incommensurable.
It is likely that the two robberies may have been connected, police officers now speculate. In the October theft, two suspects had been identified: a man and his girlfriend, who had also robbed a 7-Eleven store, located at 744 W. Boynton Beach Boulevard.
During that heist, they had pilfered lottery tickets, cashing them soon afterwards at the same store and at a Shell gas station.
The thieves had finally been arrested on November 7, and taken into custody on several different charges, including drug possession.
Given that there hadn’t been enough proof at the time to link them with the Liquor Market incident also, they had only been accused of having committed the 7-Eleven robbery.
One of them now has an alibi, given that he is still behind bars, while the other one is considered a person of interest in this case, and has been interrogated by investigators.
An inquest into Arezoumandifar’s death is under way, but it’s being hampered by the fact that there were no surveillance cameras in the liquor store.
Therefore, law enforcement is asking anyone who might have important information relevant to this fatal shooting to contact them at 561-732-8116, or to reach out to Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County, at 800-458-8477.
Image Source: WPBF