NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — Two men have been charged in the armed robbery and murder of a beloved business owner in Niagara Falls.
It was November when police in the Falls say 24-year-old Johnathan McEnnis and 28-year-old William Coleman robbed the Bridgeway Market in Niagara Falls and shot the store's owner, Ahmad "Poppy" Alsaid. Poppy died on the scene.
The men were arraigned on two counts of second degree murder, three counts of robbery in the first degree, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. Both men pleaded not guilty and are due to stand trial in November.
"It was intense not knowing if they were in custody (for so many months)," said Saeed Alsaid, Poppy's son. "It could be a person we met everyday, there was so much going through our head," he said.
Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek says both McEnnis and Coleman were on parole. They had just got out of jail after serving ten years in state prison for another armed robbery.
His son says Poppy was a staple in the community, someone people could come to for help and support. Poppy ran the store on Niagara Street in Niagara Falls for 60 years. His family says his presence is greatly missed.
"He was like a father figure for so many," Saeed said.
"It took a while for us to feel safe, and now we do," said another family member. "Now we know that these criminals are behind bars where they belong and I hope they don't hurt any other families."