Customer killed during armed robbery of store


Family members tell us Markus Holden, 43, was shot and killed Thursday night while inside the Super John Food Store in the 5400 block of Gessner.

Homicide detectives report the men armed with handguns asked the customers inside to turn over their wallets. When Holden refused, authorities say, the gunmen shot and killed him.

"One suspect jumped the counter, took money from the register," said HPD Officer Mark Condon. "The other two suspects took wallets and personal belongings from some of the customers."

Those customers, say police, were told to get on the ground. But when Holden, according to witnesses, refused to give up his wallet, the suspects shot and killed him. They took off with about $100 from the register.

Longtime customer Rose Sexton said, "If they come here and do that, just think about at your home. The way things are looking, you aren't safe anywhere. "

Although the store is equipped with security cameras, they did not capture the robbery, making it that much more difficult to track down who took Holden's life.

Friends remember Holden as a funny, friendly man who could "cheer you up even on your worst of days."

"Everyone called him Richard Pryor, because he does look like Richard Pryor," said Holden's friend Annie Tyler. "He's a very nice gentleman, always been nice, such a tragedy what happened to him."

Another friend, Temeka Hicks, recalled, "He's just funny. You know, if you're having a bad day, if you really wanted to make a bad day into a good day, come see Richard Pryor. He would make you laugh."

Authorities are looking into whether this robbery is connected to others in the area.

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