HOUSTON – A clerk was shot and killed Monday by three masked men who held up a gas station in southern Houston, police said.
The shooting was reported about 3 a.m. at the Valero on Reed Road at State Highway 288.
Police said three men ran into the store with guns drawn and fired shots before fleeing the scene in a dark-colored sedan that appeared to be missing a front passenger's side hubcap.
Investigators said the victim, who was identified by a family member as 29-year-old Odai Qadues, was from Palestine and had moved to the United States to support his family. Friends of the victim said he had moved to the U.S. three years ago.
"This is horrible," said Lt. W.L. Meeler, of the Houston Police Department. "This man, 29 years old, came to this country for a better life to support his family, and he gets gunned down for it. It's not right."
Qadues' friends gathered near the gas station Monday to share their pain and disbelief.
"There should be no reason for killing anyone like that in a cold blood," said Mohammas Issa. “He decided to come to America to followed his American dreams to work hard and build his future and support his family and look what happened."
“His mom, of course, she was crying," Issa said. "Everybody is freaking out, and they are crying, and they are very sad, and it’s just very bad news in the whole town where he is from."
Qadues was from the West Bank. Issa said his mother will fly to Houston to plan his funeral.
Meanwhile, police said they are searching for the people responsible for Qadues' death.
“Somebody knows these guys," Meeler said. "Give us that information, tell us who they are, cause they walked into the store and killed this man trying to do his business, trying to support his family ... We need to take these dangerous individuals off the street because they will do it again."
A $5,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.
Anyone with information is asked to call Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.
Suspect vehicle on Reed. 202 pic.twitter.com/rzGRb0mlHp— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) October 7, 2019
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect new information from police about the number of men who entered the store.