Hundreds gathered at the Islamic Center of Greenville to say goodbye to 16-year-old Sam Almoganahi, his 26-year-old cousin, also named Sam Almoganahi and 24-year-old David Alawi. The three were gunned down Sunday night while working at the Farmville Hustle Mart.
"It's just a tragedy, it didn't have to happen," said Tony Muhssen, a cousin of all three. For the first time the family is speaking out. "Why anybody hurt you for no reason? For some dirty thing like money?" asked another cousin, Abdu Alguradi.
Muhssen says the store's owner, Mohamed Almoganahi, lost both his only son, Sam, and his nephew Sam during the crime. He is having an especially hard time. "You know, we try to be there for him. There's only so much we can do," said Muhssen. "We appreciate all of the community around him, everybody has been great. It's just a tragedy you know, it didn't have to happen."
Muhssen says David Alawi started work at the store just two weeks ago, and says the younger of the two Sams usually left the store at 8 each night, but stayed late on Sunday to hang out with his older cousin, who had just started working at the store the day before. "It's very, very, very hard to explain. "We lost 3. I've never seen anything like this in my life."
Sheriff Neil Elks calls this one of the worst crimes he's seen during his 30 years of law enforcement. Deputies continue to search for the three gunmen seen in this surveillance video. But even so, Muhssen says an arrest won't fix everything. "It would help out, but it will never bring them back," says Muhssen. "The family is religious though, which is helping out. They know that everyone's time here comes to an end."
Family and friends are paying their last respects for three relatives were were killed in a store hold-up Sunday night.
26-year-old Nabil "Sam" Almoganahi, 24-year-old Gaber "David" Alawi and 16-year-old Mokbel "Sam" Almoganahi were killed at the Hustle Mart in Farmville by three gunmen.
The 16-year-old was the son of the store owner and a 10th grader at Farmville Central High School, while the 26-year-old was the nephew of the owner. Relatives say Alawi, a cousin, had only worked at the store for two weeks.
The funeral began at 1:00 p.m. at the Al-Masjid Islamic Center & Mosque on Evans Street.
The Muslim faith strive to bury the deceased as soon as possible after death, avoiding the need for embalming.
The Pitt County Sheriff's Office so far has not arrested anyone in the homicides. CrimeStoppers and the family are offering a $10,000 reward in the case.
A Farmville Central High School student organized a candlelight vigil outside the Hustle Mart Monday night, who was good friends with the 16-year-old victim of the triple fatal shooting at the convenience store Sunday.
Before the vigil started, many people signed a poster hanging outside the store as the victims' family members arrived. Following that was an emotional vigil, with prayer and song.
"I thought about this candlight vigil so that people that come to the store on a daily basis, they can come out and show their respect for the family," said the vigil organizer Kelvin Reid.
The crowd of about 100 people was asked to share kind thoughts or memories that they'd like to say about Sam or any of the victims.
"They were there for everybody and for my family. They loved us and we loved them. I mean, we just loved them, and I'm going to miss them," said Paulette Bullock who knew the victims.
"Sam that goes to Farmville Central. He was a really nice guy, kind of quiet. He didn't really open up to everybody, but once he got to know you, he was a really good person to be around. He would always make jokes in the hallway or in the classroom, " said Reid the organizer.
Another person who knew the victims said: " I'd stop by here every day. I'd go in and everybody had smiles on their face. This has broken a lot of hearts, but I know Sam. He always talked about God on Facebook, so I know he's gone to be with the Lord."