Man charged in murder of Chatham convenience store clerk has 13 previous felony convictions

ByMichelle Gallardo and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Sunday, February 25, 2024
Man charged in Chicago store clerk's murder has 13 felony convictions
Jimmy Smith was charged in the attempted robbery and fatal Chicago shooting of Half Moon Grocery worker Shadi Mohammad Suleimen Almomani.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The man charged in connection with the murder has 13 previous felony convictions and has spent a great deal of his life in and out of prison. He also was, according to prosecutors, a frequent client at the convenience store.

Jimmy Smith, 45, stood in front of a judge on Sunday, charged in connection with the Jan. 9 killing of a Chatham convenience store clerk.

That clerk, Shadi Mohammad Suleimen Almomani, was a Jordanian national and a former police officer who had recently moved to Chicago in search of a better life for his family back home.

On the night of the murder, Almomani was sitting in his car after closing with $1,000 in proceeds from the store. That's when, prosecutors said, Smith pulled a gun on him and demanded his wallet. After a brief struggle, investigators said, Smith shot Almomani once in the head.

"He spoke little to no English. It was kind of hard for him. He was just trying to make money for his family, you know? A life costs money, then all this, right here," said convenience store employee Anas Yasin.

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Back at the Half Moon Grocery store on 79th Street and Martin Luther King Drive on Sunday, employees and friends of Almomani reacted to news of the arrest, confirming prosecutors' reports that Smith, who lived a block away from the store, was a frequent customer.

"Every day he came to the store. Every day. Night morning. Every day he came here. And we started helping him, too. All the time he came, he didn't have money. I help him. Shadi help him too," said Mohammed Aqueel, the victim's friend.

In court on Sunday, prosecutors said surveillance video from the store, along with extensive witness testimony, led police to Smith. He was arrested on Friday and is facing one felony armed robbery charge and two felony murder charges.

Smith will remain incarcerated pending his trial. The judge, in issuing his ruling, said Smith had 13 reasons to not have access to a weapon, and yet, he did. The judge added that electronic monitoring would be and quote "woefully inadequate" for a case like this.

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