Store owner shot in Olney

February 27, 2009 8:51:16 PM PST
Robbery is the likely motive in connection with a deadly shooting that happened in Philadelphia's Olney section. The man robbed and killed is identified by police as 61-year old Chung Jo Ha.

For more than ten years, Ha operated a laundry cleaning business along with his wife in the 400 block of Chew Avenue.

Other merchants were left shaken by what happened.

Crime scene investigators were collecting evidence lying by Chung Jo Ha's black Cadillac, including his glasses, which were on the street and other items.

Witnesses say he had just closed his laundry cleaning business, Alert Cleaners, when he was shot and apparently robbed

Pong Anderson, who operates a restaurant next door, heard shots and ran outside.

"Bang, then one minute, then another bang," Anderson said.

Ha was found lying on the street with his pockets inside out; he was later pronounced dead at Einstein Medical Center.

Pong and others say just two days ago, Chung Jo Ha had a loud argument with a customer who he refused to give her clothes back to because she didn't have a receipt.

Merchants say police were often called by Ha do to some disagreement he was having with a customer.

Whether any of this was connected to what happened tonight police don't know, but other merchants are outraged.

Justin Lee of the Korean American Crime Prevention Committee says Chung Jo Ha is a retired pastor and leaves behind a wife, who often worked at the cleaners and a son and daughter, both of whom are doctors in Maryland.

Lee says Korean merchants are shocked and dismayed over Ha's killing.

"We were very shocked and we cannot tolerate anymore," Lee said.

Homicide investigators are working very diligently on this case.

They're interviewing several witnesses, but so far they have no suspects.

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