Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) -- Candles, flowers and stuffed animals mark the void left in the Masten Riley neighborhood. Dozens have left mementos to remember a widely respected store owner. Lisa Garner stopped by to hang a stuffed animal on the store's front gate. "I miss Ali. I've down here every day. I've lived in the neighborhood ten years now. Every day down to the store...every day. Me and him like...Ali! Hi Lisa! Lisa...Lisa! Every day, twice a day, three times a day. Scratch off fanatics. I miss him. There wasn't no need for that," Garner remarked.
As the congregation of the Ray of Hope Christian Center leaves Sunday services...they can't help thinking about the tragedy that took place right next door. "Not only have they been a support in the community and a stabilizing force here...they also have been a place where you could come if you needed help, they would give you the help. They have given credit to people who really needed help. We've got a lot of people in this area that are on Social Security, SSI and maybe public assistance," said Pastor Raymond Clifton.
The store owner was shot to death in what police believe was an armed robbery gone bad and it was all caught on tape by surveillance cameras. "Unfortunately we've got some bad apples that make the whole area bad. This is a great area. These are some great people. But, we are going to stand for this area. We are going to keep moving forward. We are going to keep praying for the area and I think things will get better," said Samson Logan, a member of the neighboring church.
Residents in the area are hoping that the store will reopen to continue serving this neighborhood. "This is the only corner store that we have in this whole area. If they decide that they are not going to remain open....There are a lot of people that are going to be effected by this," added Pastor Clifton. Police have not yet made any arrests. If you have any information about the murder you can call the Buffalo Police confidential tip line at 847-2255.