A deli owner about to open his family store for the day's business was abducted and fatally shot during a robbery in Newark on Friday morning, police said.
The victim, Jose Rivas, 26, was opening the Yesi Supermarket on Osbourne Terrace when he was forced into a four-door silver car shortly after 8 a.m., authorities said. He was found by a neighbor several blocks away on Hunterdon Street with a fatal gunshot wound, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.
The slaying of Rivas, affectionately as "Flaco" because he was a skinny guy, shocked the community because they said the store owner was loved by relatives, business associates and customers alike .
"They loved him," said Michelle Whitaker, a neighbor. "We loved him. It's just a travesty...It's just too much to deal with."
The salesman who supplied the supermarket with Goya products said Rivas "was much more than a customer, he was a friend."
"He was a very friendly guy, talked to everybody. all of these people, in the neighborhood, they would come in, talk to him, make jokes with him... so sad," said the salesman Jose Trinidad.
Rivas' shooting is the 58th killing in Newark this year. Friends say they are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
"It just wasn't a regular corner store," said Whitaker."It was friendly. It was some place where we all liked to come through. And he made it even better to come into because of how he was."
Anyone with information is asked to call the Essex County Prosecutor at (877) 847-7432 or (973) 621-4586.