The younger of two brothers shot by a man who robbed their convenience store Friday died of his wounds, police said.
Investigators were looking for the killer, who fled in either a silver Ford Edge or Escape after the holdup at the Quick Stop Convenience and Wireless store, at Chippewa Street and Alfred Avenue.
Police identified the fatally injured brother as Haris Gogic, 19, who ran the store with his brother, Mirza Gogic, 23. Several relatives hugged Mirza Gogic after he was released from St. Louis University Hospital, where he was treated for a gunshot wound.
His family declined to comment.
The gunman entered the store about 11:40 a.m., said Police Chief Sam Dotson. One of the brothers grabbed a baseball bat in self-defense. But the gunman opened fire, shooting Haris Gogic in the head and Mirza Gogic in the arm. Dotson said police were interviewing a woman who was inside the store.
Multiple friends who showed up at the scene Friday said the brothers are hard-working members of a large Bosnian family. They said the brothers opened the store at the front of their house a couple of years ago.
“I’m in shock by this” said Dzened Muhic, 19, who said he was one of Haris Gogic’s best friends and visited him at the hospital Friday before he died. “I can’t believe it. I can’t think straight.”
Mirnesa Audic, 20, and Ena Duvnjak, 19, said they were classmates of Haris Gogic since elementary school. They said he, like his older brother, appeared to have no enemies.
“He was never in any kind of drama or trouble,” Audic said. “He tried to stay away from all that.”
Several friends and customers said the Gogics are friendly and generous men who cared deeply about their customers.
“They do anything for anybody in this neighborhood,” said Cornell Jeffery, 29, who lives nearby and comes to the store regularly. “They take care of everybody around here.”
Another customer, Izell Payne, 40, said the brothers routinely allowed people to leave without paying if they didn’t have the money. Payne said the brothers’ mother would often provide customers with meals and coffee.
“If you needed anything, you could be a stranger and they’d look at you and say’ what do you need?’” Payne said. “This community is really close to this family.”
Police said they hope surveillance photos will help catch the shooter. Anyone with information is asked to contact CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-8477.
SOURCE: St. Louis Post Dispatch
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