Store clerk killed, 2 suspects injured in Park Manor shooting during robbery; 4 in custody

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A convenience store clerk has died of his injuries after being shot during a robbery at his business in Park Manor Friday afternoon, Chicago police said. Two of the suspects were also shot.

The Cook County Medical Examiner identified him as 33-year-old Mohammed Maali. Residents of the neighborhood said he was known as Omar. He is survived by a wife and four children.

Police said the incident occurred in the 0-100 block of East 71st Street at about 1:45 p.m.

Maali was working in a store he co-owned when four males came in and announced a robbery, police said. The robbers took the drawer to the cash register, at which point Maali pulled out a gun, firing shots and striking two of the robbers.

The first robber, a 17-year-old boy, was shot in the leg and left side of the body and taken to Comer Children's Hospital in unknown condition. The second robber, a 34-year-old man, was shot in the left leg and taken to University of Chicago hospital where his condition is stable.

The robbers then shot Maali, striking him in the chest. He was taken to University of Chicago Hospital in very critical condition and rushed into surgery. He died of his injuries shortly before 8 p.m., Chicago police said.

Maali was the only one inside the store at the time of the robbery, police said.

The store has only been open for a few months after moving from down the street, and had planned to hold its official grand opening in the coming week or so. Neighbors said the victim was well-known in the neighborhood and well-liked, and they can't imagine why he would have been a target.

"Everybody knew Omar," said Helen Gardner, neighbor. "Omar was just a great person. He was a great person from the other end to this end, so I don't understand why somebody would go in and hurt him."

The robbers fled the area but were later apprehended by police. All four are in custody, including the two who are hospitalized.

Charges are pending and a weapon was recovered, Chicago police said.
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