Milwaukee corner grocer's murder remains unsolved

CREATED Jan 9, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - The owner of the Zara Food Store has been laid to rest in his native Lebanon.  Back in Milwaukee, police are trying to find his killer.

Someone shot and killed Fawzi Abu Hamdan just before closing time on December 28.

"There will be information that will bring that person hopefully to justice," Detective Tim Graham told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray.  "The first guy was masked.  The gunman gunned the owner down in the store.  It appeared to be unprovoked."

Police released surveillance images of the two suspects.  It appears they intended to rob the store.

Abu Hamdan's family plans to sell the business.  There is a memorial of teddy bears, notes and balloons on the front door.

"There's a note on the door that emphasizes how much the community appreciated him," Graham said.  "They thought of him as part of the community."

An immigrant from the Middle East, Abu Hamdan was a husband and father who raised his family in Oak Creek.  Customers called him 'Fred' and now deeply miss their neighborhood grocer.

"I was born and raised here.  He was a good man to me and my kids," said longtime customer Dawn Heibler.  "Really, a good hearted person.  That should have never happened to him."

Anyone with information should call investigators at (414) 935-7411.