Johnston County community gathers to mourn slain clerk

Community members gathered Tuesday evening to mourn the loss of AB. (David Hurst/CBS North Carolina)
Community members gathered Tuesday evening to mourn the loss of AB. (David Hurst/CBS North Carolina)

ZEBULON, N.C. (WNCN) — Hundreds gathered Tuesday night to remember a convenience store clerk murdered during a robbery last week in Johnston County.

“Everybody around here is showing love because they know AB was a good man,” said Terry Holder, friend of Al-Shami Esmail, known to many as AB.

Community members gathered Tuesday evening to mourn the passing of Al-Shami Esmail, 29, a clerk killed in a robbery.
Click here for photos of the vigil.

The 29-year-old was shot and killed by two masked men late Thursday night at the Shop-N-Go in Zebulon. No arrests have been made in the case.

Another store employee shot during the robbery, 51-year-old Ricky Lynch, remains in the hospital. Lynch is doing better and was sorry to miss his friend’s vigil, fellow employees said.

“This is our community store, and we wanted to bring together all our neighbors and just remember AB,” said Stephen Herzog, another friend. “Such a good fellow he was.”

The store was closed for several days after the killing, reopening Monday. But for many, things will never be the same without AB behind the counter.

“It broke my heart when I went in the store earlier,” Holder said. “My whole body, it just didn’t feel the same.”

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