SALISBURY, N.C. – Three men were charged with the Monday night murder of a Rowan County convenience store owner.
Hecham Abualeinan, 59, was shot in the head around 9:45 p.m. about 15 minutes before his Z&H Mart store closed at 36100 Mooresville Road.
Police say three men organized the armed robbery. Two Salisbury men, identified as 23-year-old Maurice Robinson and Kevin Lamont Canzator, entered the store and made a purchase before leaving.
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Then, police say, 23-year-old Christopher Lee Watson of Salisbury—who rode with Robinson and Canzator to the store—entered and shot and killed Abualeinan.
All three men are charged with robbery with first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon.
"It's just not fair, just not fair. He didn't bother nobody," said longtime Z&H Mart customer Jabbar Lawler on Tuesday. "We talk like we're family."
Lawler says he encouraged Abualeinan to carry a gun, knowing the dangers of working in a convenience store. He says Abualenian wouldn't bring it up.
It’s unclear if Abualeinan had one in the store to defend himself or not.
Abualeinan has a wife and children. The family lives in the same building as the convenience store.
Officials think Watson could be connected to other robberies in the area. The three men are being held at the Rowan County Detention Center without bond.