Gas station owner murdered in Chester, suspect loose

CHESTER, Pa. - December 9, 2011

Investigators say it looks like the suspect wanted to rob the Sunoco A Plus Station, but something went terribly wrong.

Friends and co-workers have identified the owner as 56-year-old Mohammed Fareed, a beloved and respected member of the Chester community..

The Sunoco gas station owner was shot and killed early Friday morning at 9th and Kerlin Streets in Chester. And authorities say, with his last breath, the victim was able to describe to police the man who gunned him down.

Authorities say the gunman walked into the station's convenience store at around 4:00 a.m.

Relatives say Fareed was actually putting gas in his van when he was shot multiple times.

Police suspect robbery may have been the motive, but it is unclear what if anything the shooter stole.

When officers arrived Fareed was conscious, and he was able to give police a description of the gunman and told them where they could find the store's surveillance video.

A source say the gas station has a camera system inside but not outside where the shooting happened. Detectives are now searching area businesses for possible video.

Fareed slipped out of consciousness in the ambulance. He died at Crozer Chester Medical Center at about 4:35 a.m.

"I woke up at 6:15am, and my uncle told me that someone had been shot. My first thought was, 'Oh please don't let it be Fareed," said Carla Beaver.

Carla Beaver's fears were later confirmed. The man who had offered her a helping hand for most of her life was gone.

"He's been a pillar in the community for a number of years," said Akbar Muhammad. "People loved him."

"He put me on this block to sell my oils for 8 years. He never had a problem with anybody," said Zaid Salam.

Relatives say Fareed was a father of three adult children; two of them are studying to be doctors.

He and his wife lived on a farm in Ivyland, and despite the crime and despair that plagues much of Chester, they continued to give back to the community.

"I don't really want to cry, but if I had no gas, Fareed would give me the gas for me and my children to get back and forth to school. He would give me the gas until I could get some money," said Nicki Black.

"This is the sign of the times," said Fred West. "I don't know what to say anymore."

Detectives continue to look for clues that might help them solve the business owner's murder.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Chester Police Detective Nelson Collins at (610) 447-8431 or CID Detective Michael Jay (610) 891-4700.

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