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Clerk Talks About Deadly Shooting At Store
CINCINNATI, Ohio (WKRC-TV) The Hamilton County Grand Jury declined to indict a Pleasant Ridge store clerk Tuesday after he shot and killed an unarmed man in the store earlier this month.
Omar Magdy Abouelalla, 22, walked into the LM & N store on August 4th wearing a motorcycle helmet.
Surveillance video shows Abouelalla pulling the visor down and walking toward a door that led to the back counter where the cash register was located.
The clerk, who asked not be to be identified, said he thought he was being robbed. "I kept talking to him. The helmet, the helmet. When he got to the door I said over four times, 'don't, don't, don't come over to that door where I'm at...I wish he said something," the clerk recalled.
Abouelalla did not respond and the clerk fired. "I just fired one shot. And not for him that shot meant to be. It meant to just scare him," the clerk said.
The clerk said he did not realize it was Abouelalla who was wearing the helmet he was riding a motorcycle that night. The two had met a couple of times since Abouelalla worked for a cigarette distributor and he had been to the store to take orders.
The clerk had worked at the store for three weeks and said he had been robbed at gunpoint while working at two other stores nearby.
"At that time I just had a split decision to make. Just seconds. I have either my life I'm dead, I knew it's robbery a 100%. I'm about to die."
Abouelalla was not armed, had no drugs or alcohol in his system and had no criminal record.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said self defense in Ohio is proven when the shooter was not at fault in the situation, the shooter does not violate a duty to retreat and the shooter has reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death.
"As we stand today there is nothing to suggest this was anything but self-defense," Deters said. He added, We will never know what Mr. Abouelalla was thinking or trying to do that night... Although the investigation revealed that the victim was a nice person who, in all likelihood, had no intention of robbing the store, the clerk did not have the benefit of that information." Abouelalla's friends told police he was known to play practical jokes on people.
While he's not facing charges, the clerk said he's had many sleepless nights since the shooting.
He had a message for Omar Abouelalla's family. "I'm very, very, very sorry. From the deep of my heart. From the bottom of my heart. Just for the mom, for the father for his brothers and all his friends...for the loss of Omar makes me more upset and sad for that situation I was put in. I wish it never happened. I wish I have other solution."
Through an attorney, Omar Abouelallas family issued a statement: We are disappointed in the decision of the grand jury not to indict the man who fatally shot Omar, who was unarmed, on Aug. 4th. In presenting the evidence to the grand jury, the shooter was brought in to testify, however no one was there to speak on behalf of Omar, who has been forever silenced. Still, we have not lost hope in the justice system. We are still left with many questions surrounding Omars death and we will continue to seek answers and continue in our quest for justice. We mourn the loss of our beloved Omar. He was the light of our lives and a source of joy and comfort for us and so many others.