DURHAM, NC (WNCN) — A slain Durham store clerk — who was a dad and husband — and was killed in a robbery was a familiar and friendly face to many who came to the Joy Mart, where the shooting happened early Saturday morning.
The clerk, Amer Mahmood — along with the suspect — were well known to a number of people who are just stunned by what happened at the store.
“…there was 5 or 6 people in the store and he told everyone to get out and ‘give me the money and everybody get out’ or he’d shoot everybody…he started shooting..,” a caller said on 911.
The man accused of shooting and killing 48-year- Mahmoud made his first court appearance Monday morning.
Dmarlo Johnson, 26, is charged with murder after police say he killed Mahmoud at the Joy Mart on N. Roxboro Street Saturday morning.
Just hours before that shooting happened, Amer had a premonition, a customer said.
“I was in store that day about 40 minutes before it happened and he said something didn’t feel right.. He felt like something was going to happen that day and it didn’t feel right,” said Carinto Vareen, a customer and friend of victim.
Carinto and others say Amer was working double shifts — nearly 96 hours a week at this store trying to save enough money to bring his 13 and 10 year old children to Durham from Arizona.
“He did say he he had a son and daughter and trying to get them over here… He was saving up his money — just saving.. He was good people,” said customer Clarence Trice.
On Monday, friends of Amer set up a GoFundMe page to raise enough money to pay the funeral expenses for the Pakistani native.
“He was working trying to take care of his family.. He was a blessed man,” said Chis Johnson.
Chris Johnson also knew suspect Dmarlo Johnson — who ended up being shot and wounded by police — and is stunned by the accusation.
“I went to school with him and he was a real good guy. I never thought he’d be in a position like that,” Johnson added.
Officers said when Johnson came out of the store he was waving a gun at them. Johnson was shot by police during the incident
Johnson was recently released from the hospital and was brought into the courtroom Monday in a wheel chair.
Johnson didn’t say anything in court, but he did request to be assigned a public defender.
Johnson faces a maximum sentence of life without parole and is expected to appear in court again on July 27.
Tonight — like many others — Johnson is trying to wrap his head around the tragic events that occurred here.
“….my heart goes out to the suspect and my whole heart goes out to Amer..he didn’t deserve that,” Johnson said.
Amer’s wife is in town and is trying to deal with the difficult and sad tasks that come with the death of a loved one.
Also on Monday, Durham Police released the identity of the officers involved in the shooting: Officer Cornell Richards, Officer Jonathan Fullam and Officer Joshua Conser.
According to Durham Police, Officer Richards joined the DPD in May 2007, Officer Fullam joined in January 2012 and Officer Conser joined the DPD in January 2014.
“All three officers are currently on administrative leave with pay, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings,” police said.
All three officers are assigned to the Patrol Bureau.