Bensenville police offer $10,000 reward in slaying of store clerk
On Jan. 19, Kamal Faraj was planning a special birthday dinner for his sister, and wanted to make sure his brother-in-law was there on time.
Hussein Saghir, described by family members as a hardworking convenience store clerk, talked to Faraj on the phone about 4:30 p.m. that day.
$2.5 million bond set for man held in Bensenville slaying, search continues for gunman
"I told him, 'You can't be late.' Because he's always late," Faraj said. "His last words to me before we hung up was, 'I promise you I'm gonna be there at 6:30.'"
But just before 6 o'clock that night, as Saghir and another employee were closing up Sam's Tobacco and Food Mart in Bensenville for the night, they were confronted by two men -- one of them with a gun, who shot and killed Saghir following a brief struggle, according to Bensenville police.
Police on Thursday offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the identification and arrest of the two suspects believed to be responsible for shooting and killing Saghir.
Family members say they hope that will be an incentive for someone to step forward.
"It was just not fair the way this whole thing happened," said Hanan Faraj, Saghir's widow. "I just pray they do find these people, just to bring them to justice. It really shattered my life and my family's life."
The shooting took place outside the convenience store at 235 W. Irving Park Road, during what Police Chief Frank Kosman said was "an armed robbery that went wrong." Saghir, 36, of Chicago, was found dead outside the store.
During a news conference attended by members of the Saghir family on Thursday, Kosman asked for the public's help in locating the two suspects. Police released a 1-minute video clip of the robbery and shooting taken from store surveillance footage, and newly enhanced photos of the suspects taken from the video.
Kosman also said forensics investigators are now analyzing new information at a crime lab.
He said he's "highly confident" police will apprehend the suspects.
Kamal Faraj, Saghir's brother-in-law, said he knows police have been working hours on the case, and are "doing what they can."
"I know it's been almost three weeks (since the shooting), but they're going with what they have," Faraj said. "It's not like those barbarians just stood there and said, 'Hey take a picture of me.' They're working with what they have."
Kosman said there is no obvious indication that the two suspects have any gang affiliation, and it's not known whether they live in the area or have been passing through.
"One would think if they would be fairly local, that someone would've spoken up by now," Kosman said.
The attempted armed robbery took place after a Nov. 10 robbery of the store in which cash and cigarettes were stolen. But Hanan Faraj says her husband didn't worry about getting robbed again.
Kosman said police believe the two men entered a van and fled east from the scene. Such a vehicle is seen on video leaving from the east side of the building shortly after the shooting. The van is believed to be a tan, beige, or silver/gray 2001 to 2003 Ford Windstar. Police were unable to get a license plate number.
Both suspects are described as clean-shaven black males, 17 to 22 years old, standing about 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing between 130 and 150 pounds.
The suspected shooter is shown in the video wearing a red or maroon hooded sweatshirt with a white, large text "Abercrombie" logo on the left sleeve and blue jeans, believed to be the True Religion brand.
The other suspect is shown wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with what is believed to be a Mossimo brand logo -- a black "cursive" style writing on a rectangular, white background.
Police asked anyone with information to call (630) 350-3455.
Bensenville police are hosting a crime prevention forum for local business owners and the public at 9 a.m. Feb. 20 in the board room at village hall, 12 S. Center St.
The last homicide in Bensenville took place in 2004 at an apartment complex on George Street. That case remains unsolved.
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