Local Business Owner Killed in Shooting, Three Suspects Detained

A well known Nueces County business owner has become our city's ninth homicide victim this year after he was shot during a robbery attempt just after 1 p.m. Monday.

Benjamin Mustafa, 55, was shot at the Tim's Market in the 1600 block of Ayers and was rushed to a local hospital, where he later died from his injuries.

According to officials, two suspects went inside of the store wearing masks and displaying guns. The two men shot at Mustafa several times, and according to police at the time of the shooting, the victim received one gunshot wound to the head.

One eyewitness told 3News that the masked men walked inside, demanded money and called Mustafa by his name before shooting him twice.

Other witnesses saw a red four-door car leaving the area, and a short time later, police discovered the red car on 15th Street near Morgan. Police arrested the two suspects at that location, as well as one woman who was found inside of the home.

3News did see officers checking the suspects hands for gun residue.

The female was taken immediately to the City Detention Center, and the vehicle was processed and impounded.

As of 5 p.m., no one has been officially charged in connection with the shooting homicide.

Mustafa was reportedly well known and well liked in the neighborhood surrounding the store. He was known for his happy and friendly demeanor.

He not only owned that business, but also a couple of used car dealerships. Many people who knew Mustafa shared their stories about him, calling him a good, kind and caring individual who would give you the shirt off his back.

"He's been here in the grocery story forever. He cashes everybody's paychecks, payroll checks," said Joe and Dolores Valdez, who knew Mustafa. "Everybody in the neighborhood knows him, but they call him Ben. Benjamin."

Joe and Dolores considered Benjamin Mustafa as their friend. Joe worked for him, painting cars at his car lot. He said Mustafa loved to joke and always had a smile on his face.

"Good people, man. They helped people," Joe Valdez said. "This shouldn't have happened. This shouldn't have happened to him, and I'm sorry it did. But I hope you catch the guys that did it."

Several others said Mustafa was a very generous man. He would often give away items from his store to people who couldn't afford to pay. He had his routine -- the owner at the Middle East Market on the city's southside said Mustafa would stop by everyday for coffee and a chat, and in fact he stopped by on Monday for the last time.


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