CINCINNATI – The family of Omar Madgy Abouelalla, the 22-year-old man fatally shot by a grocery store manager earlier this month, is disappointed in the grand jury’s decision to decline indicting the store manager.
Abouelalla’s family remains hopeful.
“We are disappointed in the decision of the grand jury not to induce the man who fatally shot Omar, who was unarmed, on Aug. 4,” read a statement provided by Abouelalla’s brother, Mohammed. “In presenting evidence to the grand jury, the shooter was brought in to testify, however no one was there to speak on behalf of Omar, who has been forever silenced.
“Still, we have not lost hope in the justice system," the statement continued. "We are still left with many questions surrounding Omar's death and we will continue to seek answers and continue our quest for justice. We mourn the loss of our beloved Omar. He was the light of our lives and a source of joy and comfort for us and so many others.”
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters and Interim Police Chief Paul Humphries announced Tuesday that charges would not be filed against the store clerk involved in the shooting death of Abouelalla.
The store manager of LM&N Unlimited Supermarket, who spoke to WCPO Digital on the condition of anonymity for his safety and out of respect for Abouelalla's family, said he has had many sleepless nights since the Aug. 4 shooting at the grocery store.
“I have a family, too, and I ask for forgiveness,” he said, while his eyes wallowed. “I ask about [Abouelalla’s] family whenever I can. There’s not a second that I don’t think about Omar. I really like him.”
Authorities outlined the circumstances surrounding Abouelalla's death and released surveillance video of the incident Tuesday. Abouelalla entered the store and walked calmly toward the employee-only area behind the elevated counter, despite being told not to by the store manager, Deters said Tuesday.
The store manager, who was breaking his fast in observance of the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan, said he stood up off his stool and told Abouelalla to remove his helmet when he entered the store at approximately 8:45 p.m.
A Cincinnati police reenactment of the incident displayed Tuesday showed, from the manager’s point of view, he was only able to see Abouelalla’s helmet, but not his hands or the rest of his body. The store manager confirmed the police reenactment.
“I have no exit behind me, and he could’ve shot one bullet and I would be dead,” the manager said.
It was then the store clerk shot Abouelalla in the chest. He was unarmed. After Abouelalla stumbled back and then collapsed in front on the counter, the store manager approached him, lifted his visor and recognized him.