Grandfather killed in West Rogers Park liquor store attempted robbery remembered as kind, generous

Chicago police release surveillance video, photos of suspect in Salim Khamo's death

Eric Horng Image
Friday, October 21, 2022
Grandfather killed in attempted robbery was 'pillar of community'
EMBED <>More Videos

The liquor store owner and clerk who was killed in an armed robbery Monday night is being remembered at a vigil Thursday afternoon.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The liquor store owner and clerk who was killed in an armed robbery Monday night is being remembered at a vigil Thursday afternoon.

Salim Khamo, 66, was fatally shot at his West Rogers Park store J and K Food and Liquor after a man came in at about 9:50 p.m., pulled out a handgun and demanded money, according to Chicago police.

Police said he was shot in the chest, and while he was able to return fire the gunman was not hit. The suspect, who had ridden a bicycle to the store, fled on foot, CPD said.

Chicago fire crews took Khamo to St. Francis hospital in critical condition, but he later died.

Police have released surveillance photos of the suspect. Anyone with information about the man should contact Detective Michael Perricone at 312-744-8261.

Police have released surveillance images and video of the suspect in the attempted robbery and shooting that killed Salim Khamo.

Khamo is survived by his wife, three children and seven grandchildren. Family said he was weeks away from retiring. He was well-known in the neighborhood, and residents and customers said he was kind and generous.

"Just an amazing man, just a hard worker. I don't understand it," said resident Angela Hunter. "I don't understand it."

"Every day you go in there, he'd... you'd basically leave with a smile because he basically treated people like they were his family," said Jeremiah Hitchings, customer.

Customers said Khamo was the kind of man who'd spot you a dollar or two if you were short; not just a business owner but someone who cared about the people in the neighborhood. Now they are paying their respects to his memory.

"Shoot him for what? For what? The hundred dollars that was in the register? For what, for the beer? You took a person's life. You took our father," his daughter Sally Khamo said.

Khamo's brother said he came to Chicago from Iraq some 30 years ago during the first Gulf War in search of a better life and the American dream. He was killed just two weeks before he was set to retire.

Khamo lived for his family; his son said nothing gave him more happiness.

"He just cared so much about us. I know he did," Siefar Khamo said.

His seven grandchildren were his pride and joy.

"He wanted to retire to a farm on the outskirts of Chicago, raise chickens, have his grandkids come. He just wanted to have a place for his family," his son said. "We came from Iraq, you know. We ran because we were refugees, were Christian Assyrians from the Middle East. And he was just a proud man. He was not gonna let, you know, someone bully him."

Khamo opened the store with his brother back in 2006 after he saved up enough money.

"My dad has done nothing wrong his whole life. He's done everything right. He deserves this. He deserves his justice," his son said. "We just want him, whoever this guy did it, we just want him to get caught, OK?"

"We had a party on Sunday. I was dancing with him, my last dance with my father," Sally Khamo said.

Area Three detectives are investigating.