Gulf War veteran charged in fatal shooting of West Rogers Park liquor store owner: CPD

ByJohn Garcia, Eric Horng, and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Saturday, October 29, 2022
Dropped cell phone helped ID veteran charged wtih Chicago clerk's murder
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Chicago police said as the man charged with killing a West Rogers Park liquor store owner fled the scene, he dropped his phone which had photos of his social security card, driver's license, and the bicycle seen he rode to the store on in surveillance video.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police announced charges in the murder of Salim Khamo, 66, who was fatally shot during an armed robbery at his liquor store in Rogers Park.

CPD Supt. David Brown said that detectives have arrested Sean Dunnavant, 53. He is charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted robbery with a firearm. He appeared in court Friday afternoon. Chicago police said Dunnavant was arrested Wednesday.

Police said the incident occurred around 9:50 p.m. on October 17 when Dunnavant entered J and K Food and Liquor in West Rogers Park and pulled a handgun while demanding money.

Khamo was shot in the chest, police said, Dunnavant fled the store but left a cell phone at the scene. Khamo was taken to St. Francis hospital by Chicago fire crews, where he was later pronounced dead.

Police said surveillance video of the alleged killer in the store was one of the keys helping them to find Dunnavant.

In the surveillance video, the suspect races out of the store on foot after the shooting and then drops an object as he runs down the block. He doesn't stop to pick it up. Police said it was a cell phone, and it helped them identify the alleged shooter.

The phone allegedly contained several photos, including selfies of Dunnavant and pictures of his social security card, a driver's license, a 9mm handgun consistent with the one used to kill Khamo, and a bicycle matching the one at the store that video showed the shooter riding up on.

Police also said a community tip led to the arrest. After police released images of the suspect, prosecutors said an acquaintance of Dunnavant's identified him and his bicycle. He also had Dunnavant's phone number, which allegedly matched the dropped phone.

"Once again we had someone from the community reach out and identify this guy," said CPD Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan. "We needed all these things in order to move forward."

"We need corroboration. Just the cell phone alone is good evidence obviously, but the community calling in was very helpful," said Supt. David Borwn.

The arrest is a relief to Khamo's family and many in the neighborhood who knew him.

"It was a lot of mixed emotion," said his daughter Sally Khamo. "But part of me gave me a big smile, and I looked at my dad I'm like, 'We found him. We found him.'"

"At least for me, it gets, makes the anger go down a little bit, you know, that he's not out there anymore, and he's captured," said Siefar Khamo, son.

"You come to this country for a better life for your family, for your kids. You get this. It's too bad. This is bad," said John Khamo, brother.

"For us it's a big loss. Big loss," said Zehra Faza, owner of Bibya Hair Design where Khamo got his hair cut.

Khamo came to the U.S. from Iraq. Ironically, according to his public defender, his alleged killer served in the military in the Gulf War. Khamo's family hopes for justice.

"I hope he's gonna be in jail to not do it to no one else. No family for nothing," John Khamo said.

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