Loved ones react to arrest in brutal murder of Lake Wales clerk

Image: Lake Wales Police Department
Image: Lake Wales Police Department

LAKE WALES, Fla. (WFLA) – An arrest has been made in the chilling robbery and murder of Lake Wales gas convenience store clerk Mohammed Allam.

For loved ones of Allam, the news comes with a flood of emotions.

“We appreciate what Lakes Wales Police Department did. But, when we heard the news, we remembered everything that happened like it was last night,” friend and business partner, Jewel Islam said. “He was my business partner, he was my good friend. Every moment when we see his family, we feel it. We still can’t believe he’s not here, you know.”

A 26-year-old Polk County man is facing murder charges in connection with the October 27th shooting death of the Lake Wales convenience store clerk.

Julian William Bird was charged Saturday with one count of murder in the first degree, one count of armed robbery, one count of tampering with evidence and an additional weapons charge. Bird is being held without bond at the Polk County Jail.

According to a Lake Wales Police Department Mohammed Allam was working at the QP gas station in the 700 block of North Scenic Highway when he was shot and killed during a robbery just after 2 a.m.

“I cheered,” James Frazier, a customer and friend said. “I just miss him [Alam] coming in saying how you doing James? how you doing buddy?  I miss him.”

Detectives with the Lake Wales Police Department were following several leads in the case when information led them to the Polk County Jail. Bird, who was arrested on Nov. 30, on unrelated charges, was tied to the crime, which investigators say involved two suspects.

Bird is no stranger to law enforcement in Polk County. He’s been arrested for than 10 times since 2009 and has served one stint in the state prison system for a conviction on grand theft and burglary charges.

“He’s a bad kid. It’s a dangerous thing and he [Alam] wouldn’t have been the last,” Frazier said. “It’s a relief.”

Allam, 48, left behind a wife and two daughters who are struggling. “His little daughter, she is looking for him everyday. She’s still looking for him,” Islam said. “His wife it is very hard for her to raise those two kids. Now she’s a single parent.”

The case remains open as detectives continue to look for the unidentified second man.

If you have any information about this case, please contact Detective Aubrey Davis with the Lake Wales Police Department at 863-678-4223, Ext. 276. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477 (TIPS).

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