‘It’s tearing me apart’: Friend recalls moments before store owner’s murder

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) —  The number of murders continues to climb in the City of Richmond.

An overnight murder brings the total number of homicides to 37 in 2016 so far, when this time last year, there were only 24 on record.

The latest murder in Richmond occurred shortly after 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, bringing the total number of homicides to 37 so far in 2016. At this time last year, there were 24 murders on record.

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The victim of Wednesday morning’s homicide, who has been identified as 30-year-old Habeeb Hafeed, was shot to death in the parking lot of Sam’s Market on North 30th Street and Nine Mile Road. Chris

6FF3A89BBC4142F9821FAA1E4FB4747CChris Boivan, a friend of Hafeed, said he helped the convenience store owner with car trouble shortly before his death.

“Knowing I was the last one to see him alive and actually talk to him, it’s tearing me apart,” Boivan said. “I feel like I let him down. We sat up here until 12:20 working on his car.”

Boivan said he and Hafeed, whom he called Sam, decided to call it a night and return to the car in the daylight.

“Shortly after that, it was over with,” Boivan said.

Boivan had just gotten home when he heard the sirens. Hafeed was the father of two young boys.

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“He was here for me when I needed it,” Boivan said, remembering Hafeed’s support as he climbed out of a downward spiral of alcohol abuse.

“Sam was one of those people who was like, ‘don’t do this,’ He made it easier for me to deal with things,” Boivan recalled.

Others were quick to point out Hafeed’s generosity and kindness toward strangers. As police look for a suspect in the murder, Boivan said he is not holding his breath.

“People are scared to talk,” he said. “So much crime has gone on and people are afraid to talk.”

Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to call Major Crimes Detective Conrad Simms at (804) 646-0712 or Crime Stoppers at 780-1000. Citizens can also text Crime Stoppers at 274637, using the key word “ITip” followed by your tip or submit a tip online at http://www.7801000.com.

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