A gas station clerk was shot and killed Friday morning in Chicago's East Garfield Park neighborhood, a half hour after he allowed a coworker to leave for the night. NBC5 Michelle Releford reports on how friends and coworkers are reacting to the loss of a man they say went out of their way to help others.
A gas station clerk was shot and killed Friday morning in Chicago's East Garfield Park neighborhood, a half hour after he allowed a coworker to leave for the night.
Baker Farhat, 30, was working the night shift when a man walked into the Marathon station at West Washington Boulevard and North Homan Avenue around 4 a.m. and attempted to rob the store, police said. The man shot Farhat then fled the scene.
Farhat, whose wife and three daughters live in Jerusalem according to family members, had worked at the gas station for the past two or three years. Employees said he worked every day to send money home to his family.
Taser Uddin was working with him but went home early.
Farhat was scheduled to end his shift at 6 a.m. and told Uddin around 3:30 a.m. he could go home early because business was so slow.
"He just kept insisting, 'It's the month of Ramadan ... go home and eat,'" Uddin said. "I wish I was there, maybe I could have prevented it. ... I just wish I was there."
A co-worker said a female customer was in the store at the time of the shooting and saw Farhat leave the glass cashier room for water. During that time, the suspects allegedly entered the room and took the money.
One suspect reportedly told the other not to shoot Farhat, stating they already had the money, but the offender opened fire anyways.
The gas station has security guards, but not full time, and Thursday is the night off for the guard. Employees said there are surveillance cameras and the station doors are always locked, but if a customer needed something, Farhat wouldn't hesitate to let them in.
"All the customers were like family to him, he trusted everybody. But unfortunately you can't trust everybody."
Police continue searching for the gunman. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police.