Updated 08/28/2008 02:37 PM
Police Search For Suspect In Fatal Shooting Of Store Owner
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Police today continue to look for the gunman responsible for killing a Brooklyn store owner during a mid-day robbery yesterday.
Officers responded to a call of shots fired inside a video store on Lott Avenue in Brownsville around noon yesterday. When they arrived, they found Steven Howard, 55, shot once in the chest.
"If you went in to rob and take whatever merchandise he had, just take the merchandise," said Brenda Howard, the victim's wife. "Why did you have to take his life?"
Family members say Howard changed his name to El-Hajj Kareem Shabazz when he converted to Islam several decades ago.
On Thursday, a makeshift shrine of candles and flowers was set up outside the shop. Friends, like Wadud Burns, said they have been left wondering how something like this could have happened.
"This man never did anything to anybody, all he did was help people in the community," said Burns. "I am really in disbelief. I cannot believe somebody would go up and do something to this man."
Burns and others gathered at the store called Kareem generous and well-known to everyone in the neighborhood.
"Everything was going well for them until this happened," said the victim's brother-in-law, Buddy Wood.
The shooting came just a few weeks after the victim and his wife celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary.
"Now I have no husband, my children have no father, my grandson is in here crying and looking for his grandfather," said Howard. "He's not here, so they took away a person that meant something, for nothing."
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the Crime Stopppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS or send a text message to CRIMES (274637) and enter TIPS577.