MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – Candles still continue to burn outside the closed Shell gas station, and so do the outpouring of prayers and mourning for the beloved store owner Sam Sadruddin.
Sadruddin was shot and killed inside Monday night during a robbery in progress, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. The murder stunned the Cut and Shoot community.
“He didn’t deserve to go out like this. He was too good of a person to go out like this,” said Cut and Shoot resident, Alexis Banks.
For nearly a week, the community lived in fear, not knowing who was responsible.
“We’d locked our gates and everything all night long,” said Nick Steele, another resident.
Deputies arrested 19-year-old Joseph Gutierrez, and took a 13-year-old in for questioning on Friday.
“Not only did they take a good man’s life, they also took their own lives too,” said a close friend of the victim, Jack Smith.
For Smith, the arrest is even more meaningful.
“I was at the back of the store me and another lady. And they ran in and hollered give me your money and pow pow and were gone by the time you could turn around,” said Smith.
People living in the area were shocked to hear the ages of the suspects arrested.
“God, that’s so young. Like your whole life is wasted away because you wanted money and some beer or whatever it was that they were trying to get out of him,” said Banks.
With the shock, now comes relief.
“It’s a tight knit community. We take care of our own. It’s going to bring down a lot more alertness on what’s going on around here,” said Steele. “Just to know that people like that are off the streets.”
While Sadruddin will never be forgotten, the community and his family may sleep a little better knowing they are one step closer to justice.
“Never bring him back but yeah, at least give everybody light relief. Some kind of relief, the whole community. He was part of the whole community,” said Smith.
KHOU 11 News reached out investigators regarding Gutierrez’s charge of capital murder by terror threat and have yet to hear back.