Assyrian man killed in San Diego

7/18/2005 6:43:13 PM

Police ask public for help in liquor store slaying

SAN DIEGO – Police are asking for help in catching a killer.

A combined $10,000 in reward money is being offered for information on the man who shot and killed a salesman at the T&M Liquor, one day after an employee thwarted a robbery at the same store, apparently by the same gunman.

Doraid Akram Toma, 35, was killed late Wednesday afternoon when a man in a black hooded sweatshirt and dark pants walked into the El Cajon Boulevard store and immediately shot Toma, police said.

The gunman then shot Toma a second time while he was on the ground. He reached over the counter and fired several shots at the store's clerk, who ducked behind the counter and escaped unhurt.

San Diego Homicide Lt. Kevin Rooney said the incident began as a robbery attempt similar to one Tuesday, when a man with a shotgun entered the same store about 11 p.m. The clerk wrested away the gun and the would-be robber fled.

The gunman appeared to be the same man in both incidents, and robberies of a nearby video store, liquor store, gas station and market during that past two weeks are believed to have been committed by the T&M Liquor robber.

Detectives recovered a stolen white 1989 Mercedes 190E in a 42nd Street alley just after the crime. The car was reported stolen Wednesday afternoon from Broadway in Lemon Grove and may have been used as the getaway car.

Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the gunman, and the California Independent Grocers' Association is offering a $9,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

Police encourage anyone with information on the crime to call the Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-TIPS.