Calls for change in Camden after deadly shooting

CAMDEN - December 6, 2011

Popular grocery store owner Miguel Almonte was shot to death inside his store at 27th and Pierce in Camden by two masked men during a robbery. Three friends were also wounded two critically. A fifth man was in the back and uninjured.

"I was sitting on the sofa watching TV and I heard some pops," neighbor William Roman said.

Almonte became the 48th murder victim of the year in the city.

Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk says night after night it's the same story.

"The robbery and the shooting at Bernard's Grocery last night was just the latest in an ever increasing and alarming number of arm robberies, shootings, and assaults with firearms over the past two months," Faulk said.

Council President Frank Moran and other political leaders are calling for a state of emergency and asking the governor to send in the state police and National Guard.

"We had a guy that walked in [the store] with an AK-47, not a .9mm, that's an assault weapon. That's what people carry in the streets of Camden? We need military to help us. Enough is enough," Moran said.

Miguel Almonte was the father of 6. He had just returned from his native Dominican Republic where he had a farm.

"I was with that man last night. I came to by two Alka-Seltzers. We were talking about his horses, his house, the family, because he knows my family. It gets me deep," neighbor Jose Santiago said.

There have been two murders and 10 shootings or gun related crimes including home invasions since Friday.

Authorities say there's a definite correlation between police layoffs and the increase in crime

The council president says the city is under siege by urban terrorists.

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