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Goldsboro Store Owner Killed in Apparent Robbery Attempt

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GOLDSBORO — The search is under way for suspects in the murder of a Goldsboro convenience store owner Wednesday night.

Yahia Alahwas, 32, was shot and killed during an armed robbery at the Triple A Convenience Mart about 11:30 p.m.

Police say they responded to the popular hangout on North Williams Street after a customer called 911.

"Apparently a customer had gone into the store and when she went to the counter, she saw the clerk behind the counter was laying down on the floor and apparently had suffered a gunshot wound," says Sgt. David Kelly of the Goldsboro Police Department.

Alahwas was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital, where he later died.

Meanwhile, people who drove up to the convenience store were surprised to find it locked.

Customers and friends remember Alahwas as someone who welcomed people with open arms.

"He's a nice guy, funny, good to be with, honest, liked to help people," says girlfriend Tangala Cobb.

Jay Patel owns a convenience store down the street from where Alahwas was killed. He says the murder concerns him because it is a reminder that danger lurks, in spite of precautions.

Nevertheless, Patel says there are things merchants can do to protect themselves.

"There shouldn't be anything covering the windows, making sure everything is visible for us to see outside and for other people to see on the inside," he says.

"A well-lit place always helps. And other than that, I think closing at an appropriate time helps out even more," Patel says.

While it is too late to save Alahwas, loved ones pray his killer will be arrested.

"It would help knowing that they caught somebody that killed somebody," Cobb says. "But it's not going to replace him."

Police are considering several suspects. Officers say when an arrest is made, it will be the first time this year anyone is charged with murder in the city of Goldsboro. andJulie Moos


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