Local News

Second convenience store owner in Rocky Mount slain

Posted May 19, 2011

— A man slain inside a Rocky Mount business early Thursday was the second convenience store owner in the city to be killed since March, police said.

Police said they received a call about a robbery and an unresponsive man at Karims Food Mart, 2053 Raleigh Road, around 12:50 a.m. Officers found the owner, Abdul Karim Alwarrak, 47, dead inside the store.

Police are looking for a green or dark-colored minivan that might have been used in the slaying.

Customers who came by the store later Thursday said that a gray car left at the store belonged to Alwarrak. They said his usual end-of-shift routine involved leaving the car running for a little while as he locked up around 1 a.m.

Investigators are treating Alwarrak's death as a homicide. A state medical examiner will perform an autopsy on the body to determine the cause of death.

Anyone with information about the case should contact Rocky Mount police at 252-972-1411 or Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111.

Police said that so far, there's no evidence to connect Alwarrak's death to the shooting death of another convenience store owner, Rafiq Salim "Sammy" Soufan, around 12:45 a.m. on March 8. Police have offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest in that case.

Second convenience store owner in Rocky Mount slain Store owner deaths have residents on edge

Karims Food Mart is less than 3 miles from Sammy's Food Mart, at 1100 Old Wilson Road.

Rocky Mount residents said the slayings, combined with the tough economy, have them on edge going out at night.

"Sammy's murder hasn't been solved, and here's this business owner murdered," Cynthia Harris, of Rocky Mount, said. "I'm just wondering, when is it going to stop?"

Harris said she saw Alwarrak on Wednesday and that he asked her, "Where have you been, my friend?"

Another customer, Irene Wilkes, described Alwarrak as "such a sweet and loving man."

"Who would do something like this?" she asked. "Let's just hope whoever did it will be found."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • HarleyDog May 19, 2011

    You don't have to be any kind of "ist" as was stated. All you have to do is use you eyes and observe and one can clearly see where the problem is coming from. The politicians/lawmakers are too afraid to call it what it is for fear their voting block will kick them out.

  • White Devil May 19, 2011

    never been to rocky mount, let me guess at the demographics!- autismawareness

    And let me guess what kind of "ist" you are -

    A real"ist"

  • rdkeller May 19, 2011

    "Why would anyone need or want to be open at such late hours".

    Computer repairmen because the boss doesn't like it when the system is down during normal working hours...

  • WooHoo2You May 19, 2011

    never been to rocky mount, let me guess at the demographics!-

    And let me guess what kind of "ist" you are...

  • nashcountygurl May 19, 2011

    First of all let me say I am so sorry for this families loss. As a resident of the Rocky Mount "area" for my entire life I must say that this area is a known bad part of town. Why would anyone need or want to be open at such late hours. Who would be out at these hours? Drug dealers, robbers, gang-bangers. HELLO!! You don't need their money store owners, they only want to kill you for yours. As for the "fine" police force of RCMT maybe if you made your presence known in these troubled areas things might be a little better.

  • 4DukeTillDeath May 19, 2011

    Raleigh's population is over 400,000 where as Rocky Mount is just under 60,000.

  • autismawareness May 19, 2011

    never been to rocky mount, let me guess at the demographics!

  • 4DukeTillDeath May 19, 2011

    Low income area....check
    Jobs leaving town.....check
    Abuse of welfare and welfare on the rise.....check
    Led the state in teen pregnancy a few years ago.....check
    Majority single parent households.....check
    Parents who should of never became parents.....check
    Drug smuggling hotspot right off of I95.....check Criminal haven for felons from up north because of I95.....check A city council that is too busy acusing people of being racists to get anything positive done.....check A police chief involved in a sex scandal.....check. Underpaid and too few police officers.....check

    Sure all towns have most of these problems, but RM just beats all I've ever seen.

  • lisa4 May 19, 2011

    I would just like to respond to GWALLY's comment. Having a Mother and Father present to raise children is great....but I am a SINGLE MOM and my children are not running up and down the street murdering other human beings. My son is 26 and has never given me one moments trouble, he respects me and others. My daughter is 13, she respects me and others. She has had straight A's with the exception of one B this school year.
    So....TWO parent households do not make a difference. By the way, I adopted my son. Neither of my children came from "A ROLL IN THE HAY" as you put it.
    Thank you WRAL for letting me post my response.

  • ccs1920 May 19, 2011

    One of the viewers apparently can't understand percentages. If Raleigh has 16 murders and Rocky Mount has 14 the percentage of murders in Rockey Mount is much higher because Raleigh has 5 or 6 times more people.