Mourners raised $25,000 in just a few hours for the family of Roop Gupta, a 68-year-old convenience store owner shot to death while he worked Tuesday night.
“It’s really all we can do right now, so that’s what we do,” said Heidi Welti, who created the GoFundMe campaign for Gupta’s family. “We support each other.”
Gupta had been attacked inside Madeira Beverage once before in 2012, when an armed robber shot him multiple times in the stomach and fled the scene. Welti remembers holding fundraisers to cover his hospital expenses, then, too. He recovered; the attacker was identified, arrested and convicted.
His assailant Tuesday night shot him once and ran. Gupta died soon after at the University of Cincinnati hospital.
The attacker remained at large Wednesday afternoon.
“How could this happen?” Welti said. “Here’s a wonderful guy. He’s supporting his family. All he’s trying to do is make a living.”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the killer’s successful arrest and conviction.
Madeira police on Wednesday released security camera images of the suspect, a man wearing a black hoodie, black pants and black boots with a red mask over his mouth.
Chief David Schaefer acknowledged the search could be a difficult one.
“We’ll look at who has security cameras, ring cameras, stuff like that,” he said. “We do have some evidence that we’ve collected that we’ll have to do forensics on.”
Welti said she and other community members are willing to do everything possible to help Gupta’s family deal with his sudden death.
“This is a generous community,” she said. “We support each other in our community, and we’re going to do whatever we can to help this family out.”
Anyone with information about Gupta’s death should call Madeira police Lt. Paul Phillips at 513-272-4214 or ATF’s tip line at 888-283-8477.