HOUSTON -- The neighborhood surrounding Telephone Road at Kinney Street in southeast Houston is a struggling and troubled little corner of the world.
A locked door at Boost Mobile, some loose change on the floor and a bottle of water that will never be finished are testament to a man who was killed.
“He would give you good deals on phones,” said customer Sherman Leonard, “and sometimes even show you a little love on your bill if you’re short on money. I can’t believe they would do that kind of stuff.”
What they did was gun down 62-year-old Hamid Warrich, the owner of the store, in broad daylight.
Victor Toscano sat in stunned silence outside the crime scene -- unaware his stepfather had died en route to the hospital Monday afternoon.
“My mom said this guy came in. He asked for money and shot Hamid in the back,” said Toscano. “He gave me a job to help me. He helps other people.”
A neighboring business owner who did not wish to be identified said he was robbed at gunpoint in front of Warrich’s store just over a week ago.
“He said ‘give me whatever you got on you,’” he said. “First I thought he was playing; but, when I saw the gun I said ‘here, this is what I got.’ I thought he was going to kill me.”
Homicide detectives continue to canvas the neighborhood. They’re studying other cell phone store robberies to see if there are any similarities that could lead them to suspects and bring justice to this troubled ‘little corner of the world.’