Community, family honors beloved store owner shot, killed in Arcadia

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Candles sit outside the store owned by Saleh Ahmed, who was shot and killed outside his business in May 2021. Credit: WINK News.

Former customers and loved ones gathered for a vigil to remember beloved store owner Saleh Ahmed in Arcadia Friday after he was shot and killed recently at his business.

Everyone at the vigil says they remember Ahmed for his kindness and smile. The vigil was held outside his store in his honor.

Family members said it brought them a lot of comfort during the vigil to see how many people from the community came out to show their support.

Dozens of people filled the parking lot and shared stories of the man they got to know over the years, a man they said meant so much to their community.

“I don’t know how my life is going on without him,” wife Seema Saleh said.

A store that was recently wrapped with crime scene tape was being wrapped with love by dozens from the community.

“Hundreds and hundreds of people have been just coming around, ‘What do you need? Any support, any help?’” son Ani Saleh said. “I don’t know how we can ever thank them for all of this.”

Ahmed was shot and killed two weeks ago while working at the store he owned, and the entire community is feeling the loss.

“The person who decided to end all of this for us, he just didn’t take away him,” daughter Priyah Saleh said. “He kind of took away part of our lives. It just ended.”

Ahmed’s family says his life now lives on in the people he touched in his years of serving his community.

“He was a loveable, kind and great person,” Seema said. “We married over 32 years ago.”

First responders attended and joined hands with the community and prayed for the family.

“My father never wanted anyone to frown, made everyone smile, happy, always told jokes in ‘Bangla’ and other languages, whatever; it does not matter what you are,” Ani said. “The point was he was going to tell a joke. Everyone’s going to laugh. Everyone’s going to have a good time.”

They know Ahmed wanted everyone in the community to keep a smile on their faces.

“I’m very grateful for them,” Seema said. “They are doing a lot for my husband.”

The man who shot and killed Saleh Ahmed faces several charges, including first-degree murder.

Ahmed’s family told us they plan on keeping the store going because that’s what he would have wanted.

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