Authorities this afternoon issued a plea for the public’s help in identifying two men who took part in the shooting death of a grocery store owner last night.
“This individual was a father of two, a business owner...for him to be gunned down in this manner is very troubling,” Samuel DeMaio, director of the Newark Police Department, said of the victim, 37-year-old Miguel Torres.
Torres was in his store, JNC Mini Mart at 346 14th Ave., when a man in a blue Adidas jacket and his face partly covered entered around 6:14 pm. Torres had owned the store just a few months, Acting Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said.
Murray said surveillance video shows Torres handing over an undetermined amount of money to the man, who appeared to “become impatient” with Torres and shot him “several” times. Authorities are still conducting ballistics tests to determine the type of weapon used. There were also customers in the store at the time of the shooting, Murray said.
Authorities at a press conference held today at Veterans Courthouse were flanked by photographic blowups of stills from the surveillance tape (see attached photos). The prosecutor’s office declined to release the entire tape because of its graphic nature.
The stills from the surveillance video also show another man waiting outside the store’s entrance who is believed to have served as a lookout, Murray said. The man’s face is clearly seen in an image captured from a camera mounted outside and above the entrance of the store. He was wearing a North Face brand jacket, authorities said.
“The Newark Police Department has experienced great success in the past working with the public,” DeMaio said, adding that anyone with information should call either the prosecutor’s office tip line at 877-847-7432 or the NPD tip line, 877-695-8477.
Last night’s murder was the third in the city since the start of the year, five fewer murders than had been recorded by this date last year, DeMaio added.