Local News

'People are cruel': Friends want answers after Johnston County convenience store shooting

Posted October 28, 2016
Updated October 29, 2016

— 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.


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  • Linda Reiter Oct 28, 2016
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    Prayers for the families and friends of both men. It is so sad to have something like this happen.

  • Lisa Lisa Oct 28, 2016
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  • Janet Ghumri Oct 28, 2016
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    This is heartbreaking. It's bad enough to be a theif, but once you have the money, why shoot the clerks? (You are on camera, anyway, duh).
    These young men were WORKING for their livelihood! They didn't deserve to be shot, just for doing their jobs! The attitude and disregard for them and their families/friends s unconscionable. Now, because of the unnecessary actions taken, two more families will suffer permanent damage when they are arrested, tried and punished. No one wins. (And they probably didn't get more than a couple of hundred dollars, if even that much!) Such a waste. Prayers for the families