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Friends, family mourn loss of slain business owner

HOUSTON – A McDonald's restaurant on Houston's east side reopened Tuesday, roughly 24 hours after its owner was shot dead in the parking lot.

"It's a sad feeling around here," said Larry Smith, a long-time customer. "He's a good guy. He'd give you the shirt off his back."

Carroll Oliver, 68, was gunned down in the parking lot of one of the McDonald's restaurants he owned, at the location in east Houston at the East Freeway and Lockwood Drive. He was walking to his vehicle, when he was approached by at least two gunmen in a white SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Tahoe, as he was leaving Monday morning to deposit money.

"They tried to take the money satchel from him," said Detective P. Waters, with the Houston Police Department. "They were unable to do that. Oliver was armed. He drew his weapon in self-defense."

In addition to the numerous McDonald's restaurants he owned, Oliver was the chaplain for the Fort Bend County Precinct 2 Constable's Office. His neighbors say he'll be sorely missed.

"Solid rock of the earth kind of guy and to hear about this," says neighbor Chip Sanches. "I'm sure it is devastating for his family but very disturbing for all of us in the neighborhood."

In the parking lot where he was killed, loved ones and employees held a moment of silence to mark Oliver's passing. People who knew and admired him are asking for peace and justice.

"We hope that incidents like this will simply show people that we have to respect life, and we cannot, cannot let things like this go unresponded to," Sanches said.

Investigators believe Monday's robbery may have been an inside job by either a current or former employee.

Witnesses reported seeing at least two suspects. One of them is described as black, about 6 feet tall and weighing around 200 pounds. He was wearing black pants, a black jacket with white writing or striping on the front and back side.

Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact the HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.