Pine Bluff police are continuing their investigation into the shooting death of a 26-year-old man inside a convenience store Tuesday night.
Jefferson County Coroner Chad Kelly identified the victim as Mohammad Islam, who was pronounced dead at 9:25 p.m. at the scene, by Deputy Coroner Eric Belcher. The cause of death was listed as multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body.
The shooting occurred at the Big Red Food Mart at 2401 E. Sixth Ave., where Islam, who formerly lived in Ozone Park, N.Y., worked as a clerk.
Capt. Greg Shapiro said police, fire and emergency services and ambulance personnel were sent to the store at approximately 8:45 p.m. to check the welfare of the clerk, who had reportedly been shot. Shapiro said police are treating the case as an aggravated robbery, theft of property and capital murder.
The slaying was the 16th of the year in Jefferson County and the 15th inside the Pine Bluff city limits. It was the first since Aug. 22 when police found the body of Michael Mallett Jr., 31, inside a vehicle parked in the 2600 block of Cockrill Street. He had been shot to death and no arrests have been made in that case.
No suspects have been identified or arrests made in Islam’s death and police said a $1,000 reward is available for information leading to the identification and arrest of the person or persons responsible.
Anyone with information should call the Detective Division at 730-2090 and all calls will be kept confidential. Anonymous tips may also be sent to the police department website at www.pbpd.org or through their Facebook page. To text a tip, text 274637, then put “PBPD” with the message.
The shooting death of Islam was apparently the first time since 2002 that an employee of a store in Pine Bluff has been killed during a reported robbery.
On Dec. 5, 2002, Lonnie Brown, 59, a manager in training at the former Advanced Auto Parts store at 3006 W. 28th Ave. was killed when the business was robbed by two teenagers.
Police arrested Brandon Thomas, then 16, and Tyrone Fells, then 19, who were convicted of entering the store and shooting Brown while he was counting out a cash drawer at the back of the building.
Brown was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Fells pleaded guilty to charges relating to that incident and to the robbery of the McDonald’s that was formerly on Main Street, and was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
After a jury trial in 2004, Thomas was found not guilty of capital murder but guilty of two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of theft of property and sentenced to 23 years in prison.
A third person, Rapheal Brisker, then 23, who was identified as the get-away driver, was also sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to aggravated robbery and theft of property.