Community mourns murder of generous convenience store owner - CBS46 News

Community mourns murder of generous convenience store owner

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Demba Balde Demba Balde

Clayton County police will continue searching Thursday for the killer or killers who took a popular convenience store owner's life.

Police said Demba Balde was robbed at gunpoint late Tuesday night as he unloaded groceries outside his Riverdale home located in the 600-block of Roxbury Drive. As Balde ran, the gunman shot and killed him.

Balde owned the Metropolitan Food Mart on Metropolitan Parkway in Southwest Atlanta, just a few miles away from his home.

Sorrow filled the air where customers said Balde gave food and credit to people who needed a hand up.

"He would give you the shirt off of his back," said neighbor Richard Cobble. "There are a lot of poor peoples who live in this area and a lot of times they would come into the store to get merchandise and what have you, and they were not able to pay for it."

Balloons, candles and a giant card adorned the storefront Thursday morning. Balde's customers couldn't believe their friend was gone.

"This was a senseless murder that did not have to happen, but because this area is permeated with drugs and prostitution then you can expect this kind of stuff - but not against a person like Demba," Cobble said.

"Why would you take a man's life?" asked friend Yulanda Dunlap. "Not only did you take a husband, you took a father, you took a cousin, you took a son."

Dunlap made the short drive to Balde's home in Riverdale to see for herself where he lost his life. She hoped his attacker was caught soon.

"They took away the only friend and the only somebody that would help us in that community," Dunlap said.

Clayton County police need help with leads in this case and urge anyone with information to call 911.

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