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Tragedy Strikes Leesburg

Store Clerk Fatally Shot in Armed Robbery

Leesburg, Fla. — In a tragic turn of events, Leesburg police are on the hunt for a suspect following the fatal shooting of a store clerk during an armed robbery at the Fast Stop Superette on Picciola Road. The incident occurred around 9:08 p.m. on Thursday night, leaving the community in shock and mourning.

Upon arrival at the scene, officers discovered 51-year-old Raied “Ray” Shihadeh, the store clerk, lying unconscious on the floor with at least one gunshot wound. Despite being swiftly airlifted to Ocala Regional Hospital, Shihadeh succumbed to his injuries overnight. The Leesburg Police Department (LPD) immediately sprang into action, establishing a perimeter and deploying K-9 and aviation units in a bid to apprehend the suspect. Unfortunately, their efforts proved fruitless, and the suspect remains at large.

Authorities have released an image of the suspect, described as an adult with a slim build, in the hopes that someone in the community may recognize and report him. The urgency to find the perpetrator is palpable, as the loss has deeply affected those who knew Shihadeh.

Adl Abdulla, a friend and coworker of Shihadeh, expressed his profound grief and disbelief. “Ray was not just a friend; he was a good husband, a devoted father to five children, and one of the best people you could ever meet,” Abdulla shared, his voice heavy with emotion. The senselessness of the crime is underscored by the meager amount of money stolen—less than $100. Abdulla voiced the community’s outrage and sorrow, questioning, “So is a man’s life worth less than $100?”

As the investigation continues, LPD is urging anyone with information to come forward. Detectives can be reached at 352-728-9862. Additionally, they are appealing to local businesses with surveillance cameras to review their footage and assist in identifying the suspect. Leesburg officials and residents alike remain hopeful that justice will be served for Shihadeh and his grieving family. For now, the community is left to grapple with the loss of a cherished member, taken too soon in a senseless act of violence.

 

Contact Information:

Leesburg Police Department

Detectives’ Hotline: 352-728-9862

 

 

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Patrick Zarrelli

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