'People are cruel': Friends want answers after Johnston County convenience store shooting
Posted October 28
Updated October 29
Zebulon, N.C. — Family and friends are looking for answers as to who shot and killed a convenience store clerk and injured another person late Thursday night in Johnston County.
Deputies called to the Shop N Go on N.C. Highway 39 after 11 p.m. found Al Shami Esmail, 29, dead inside. Ricky Lynch, 51, sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to WakeMed.
The sheriff's office said video footage from the store shows two masked people entering the store and robbing the clerk. During the robbery, the suspects fired gunshots and then quickly left the store.
"It's sad we've got something like this happening in a quiet community," said Stephan Herzog, a friend of Esmail. "I mean, everybody knows everybody."
Rick Bailey said he has known Esmail, known to friends as "AB,” and Lynch for years.
"Good people. Great to the community. Everybody loved them both to death," he said.
Bailey said the two men weren't just co-workers, they were best friends and roommates. The pair shared a home with Esmail's wife.
Investigators said the suspects fled the area in a dark-colored sedan.
"I hope they catch the guys who did this. People are cruel today," Bailey said.
Anyone with information about the incident should call the Johnston County Sheriff's Office at 919-989-5010.