LAKE WALES, FL (WFLA) — A manhunt is underway for two suspects involved in an early morning robbery that resulted in a store employee being shot and killed.
Police say they were called to the QP Convenience Store, at 704 N. Scenic Highway, around 2:22 a.m. Thursday for a man lying injured in the parking lot.
Police say 48-year-old Mohamed Allam of Lake Wales was found with a gunshot wound. He was transported to the Lake Wales Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Surveillance video shows Allam, who is a store employee, had closed the business and was walking out to his SUV to leave.
Allam was approached and confronted by two suspects, police say, who were wearing hoods. The video shows them pointing a gun at Allam and forcing him to remove his pants. According to police, one of the suspects takes the pants, in which he was only carrying his personal property, and at some point during the confrontation Allam was shot with a handgun. “It’s very concerning. The fact that they were willing to take somebody’s life over something as simple as somebody’s pants and what he may have in those pants,” Lake Wales Deputy Chief Troy Schulze said.
“If you a were a couple dollars short, he [Allam] would say ‘bring it back and make it up next time.’ Everyone genuinely liked him,” friend James Frazier said. “No one deserves this. I’m not condoning it ,but if you’re going to try and rob somebody, you don’t have to kill them.”
Police were out in full force Thursday looking for the dangerous suspects. “We’re very concerned for the community. We have two shifts of officers out, our crime suppression unit out, and our detectives unit are all out right now working the streets, talking to informants, interviewing residents who live nearby, and looking for any evidence. Everything from bushes the garbage cans,” Deputy Chief Schulze said. “I think the biggest fear right now is not getting these guys soon enough.”
The suspects fled the scene on foot running south toward Dr. JA Wiltshire Avenue with the victim’s pants. Anyone with information, or who sees the pants, or anything that may have been in them, a cell phone, wallet, keys, etc. is asked to call Heartland Crime Stoppers at (800) 226-8477. A $3,000 reward is being offered.
WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.