Police search for clues in deaths of local storeowners

 Public’s help needed to find killers of two local merchantsMike Martindale / The Detroit NewsSouthfield — The killings of two Chaldean-American storeowners in Oakland County since October remain unsolved despite the efforts of detectives, public pleas and rewards.
Police in Ferndale and Southfield said this week they continue to run down possible leads in the deaths but still need the public’s help to crack both cases.
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The Nov. 26 slaying of Kharim Khamarko, 64, of Southfield occurred at his Dollar Plus Store on Hilton in what Ferndale police suspect was a holdup.
The other victim, Mazin Khmoro, 48, of Farmington Hills was fatally shot several times in the back outside his Cronin’s Party Store on Northwestern near Franklin Road on Oct. 6 when he was taking trash to a Dumpster.
Southfield Police have one strong lead in the Khmoro slaying: a dark-colored, four-wheel drive SUV, occupied by a thin, dark-complexioned man wearing a light-colored shirt, seen outside the store for nearly an hour before the killing.
“The Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce has been very cooperative and helpful but this, unfortunately, remains unsolved,” Southfield Police Lt. Nick Loussia said.
A $12,500 reward is being offered for information in Khmoro’s death and $15,000 in Khamarko’s.
“These are both hard-working men who left behind family, and we want to do whatever we can to find the people who are responsible,” said Martin Manna, the chamber’s executive director. “Khamarko’s death appears a holdup, but information about our friend Mazin’s death is puzzling.
A car seen parked behind the store sounded like someone was waiting for someone to leave. But we can’t understand why anyone would want to hurt Mazin. It might be a case of mistaken identity.”
Ferndale Police Lt. William Wilson said the Khamarko killing likely occurred during a robbery at the Dollar Plus store.
“Tips continue to come in but nothing that has led to an arrest,” Wilson said. “We’ve interviewed local businesses and so far are unable to come up with anyone who saw anyone or anything suspicious.”
Khamarko is survived by a wife, five children and three grandchildren, who fondly called him “Giddo,” a nickname for “grandpa.”
Son-in-law Ray Kalasho said Khamarko must have been attacked sometime between 8:30 p.m., when he last talked with his wife on the phone, and 9 p.m., when a customer found him fatally wounded inside the store and called police.
“He was a hard-working, peaceful man,” Kalasho said. “He would loan people money if they needed it. He would give customers gas money if they told them they needed it. No one had to do something like this.”
Candace Khamarko, the victim’s youngest daughter, said the family hopes to reopen the store soon, closed since her father’s death.
“I don’t want anyone to forget him and while it won’t bring him back, I want the person who killed him caught and put away,” she saidAnyone with information about either case should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAKUP.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20101209/METRO02/12090382/Police-search-for-clues-in-deaths-of-local-storeowners#ixzz17cGN4O9a