Two days after a North Toledo carryout worker was killed during a robbery, city officials yesterday urged small businesses to improve their security measures, with Mayor Jack Ford saying he may use loans or grants to help pay for the upgrades.
City officials called Misada Shalan's murder inside Tamara's Carryout senseless, brutal, and vicious and offered a $5,000 reward - matched by a local carryout owner - for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killers.
“There was no reason in the world to kill this woman,” police Chief Mike Navarre said. “This was a very heinous crime.”
Chief Navarre said businesses should invest in surveillance equipment inside and outside their establishments. Such systems could cost a few thousand dollars, he said.
“I want to appeal to small businesses to do more with silent alarms,” City Councilman Wilma Brown said. “Cordon off cash registers and install bullet-proof glass.”
The lack of surveillance video and little evidence is making it tough for detectives to learn who shot and killed Mrs. Shalan, who decided several months ago to work by her husband's side part time at Tamara's, which is on Columbus Street at Erie Street.
Mrs. Shalan and her husband, Fuad, were sitting behind the counter in the carryout when two masked men walked in and fired three to five shots, Detective Vince Mauro said.
“They came in, said nothing, and started shooting,” he said.
One of the bullets hit the 47-year-old woman in the head, killing her instantly. Mr. Shalan, who suffered two grazing-type injuries, asked the men to stop shooting and to take what they wanted. They stopped firing and one of them demanded money, the detective said.
Mr. Shalan gave the men money from the register and they fled. Mr. Shalan then turned and saw his wife, said Tarek Shalan, Mrs. Shalan's stepson.
The men ran to a dark-colored, full-size, four-door sport utility vehicle that may have been occupied by a third man. The Jeep Cherokee, Ford Explorer, or Chevrolet Blazer-type vehicle fled south on Erie. It may have been dark blue, dark green, or black.
Investigators aren't sure how much money the men took, but Tarek Shalan said it might have been less than $100 - possibly as little as $30 to $50.
“It was not even worth it,” he said outside his family's West Toledo home. “She was somebody's mother and did not deserve this.”
Those who stopped by the closed carryout agreed. “I did not know them personally, but I thought I would stop down and give some support,” said Rose Mills, who lives in North Toledo and passes through the area frequently.
She added a few candles and flowers to a make-shift memorial outside the store's front door, where other flowers and sympathy cards were tucked. About a dozen candles, two burning in the wind, and a set of praying hands cradled the bottom of the door.
A cardboard sign read, “Our hearts and prayers go out to you and your family. May God bless you through your times of despair and grief. From the neighborhood.”
Tarek Shalan said his family appreciates the $5,000 reward put up by city officials and Herbie Howard, whose family operates five carryouts in Toledo. He hopes their efforts will encourage people with information to come forward.
“People are just as guilty if they don't come forward. The police can't solve every crime themselves. They need the community's help,” said Mr. Howard's son, Michael.
City councilmen are asking residents to offer information they have on the murder and other crimes. Ms. Brown said she'd like to get people together to discuss security.
“This is where the community should stand up,” said Councilman Michael Ashford. “If this continues, people will feel uncomfortable operating [businesses] especially where services are needed.”
Tarek Shalan said he too would like stores to have better security measures.
Mayor Ford, who visited Fuad Shalan yesterday, will talk with Council President Louis Escobar about small business loans or grants for security systems to help reduce, deter, and solve crime. He is exploring using about $100,000 in city money, possibly from the rainy day fund.
In the meantime, police will continue to sift through Crime Stopper tips, compare the murder to other crimes, and run ballistic comparisons on guns that are confiscated.
The assailants are described as white, 5 feet, 6 inches to 5 feet, 10 inches tall, with thin builds and wearing dark snowmobile suits or one-piece coveralls and dark ski masks. Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stopper at 419-255-1111, the city's police stations, or 911.
Funeral services will be at 11:30 a.m. today at the Masjid Saad Foundation, 4346 Secor Rd. Ansberg-West Funeral Home handled arrangements.