Owner fatally shot in cell phone store robbery in SE Houston

February 19, 2013 10:01:17 AM PST
Houston police are searching for a group of dangerous robbers who are accused of gunning down a cell phone store owner in front of his wife Monday night.

Moments before that murder, the same suspects may have terrorized a woman at a nearby business.

Cecile Rizkalla came face to face with two armed robbers Monday. They robbed her, took her cell phone, threatened to kill her, then locked her in the bathroom at Star Motor Company.

"They were just asking where is the rest of the money. I was like this is it," said Rizkalla.

The 28-year-old mother of two cooperated with their demands, but said they were not satisfied with the business' cash and titles she handed over. She was not sure she would live to tell about it, but was able to get to the phone and call 9-1-1.

"One of them, he was like let me just shoot her. I don't know what the response was," Rizkalla said.

Police believe the same men may have shot and killed the owner of a Boost Mobile store on Telephone Road near McHenry just a half hour later. Hamid Warrich, 62, was shot in front of his wife, two customers and three small children.

Warrich had cooperated and given cash to the two masked men, who also robbed his customers, but when he reached for the panic alarm button one of the men shot him. The suspects then ran around the corner to a getaway vehicle and fled the scene.

The store owner was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he died.

"I don't think you should shoot anybody for money," said the victim's stepson, Victor Toscano. "It's not worth it."

Rizkalla can't believe how senseless this crime was and is devastated that someone else was killed.

"I feel a lot fortunate. I feel like God just gave me another life," she said.

Authorities hope fingerprints and surveillance video will lead them to the two robbers who will face capital murder charges.

Police are looking for the two suspects and getaway driver. One man was around 6 feet tall with a possible teardrop tattoo. The other was about 5 foot 8 inches tall with a thin build.

They fled in a dark-colored, four-door car with paper plates.

Anyone with information should call Houston police or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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