Police canvass community looking for store owner's killer

8:20 PM, Sep 27, 2012   |    comments
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RIVERDALE, Ga. -- Officers stood just feet away from Demba Balde's home on Roxbury Drive in Riverdale, as they talked with drivers and homeowners, hoping for tips that would lead to his killer.

We're saturating the neighborhood today because we had a murder case on Tuesday," officer Ashmore said to a passing motorist. "If anybody in the community knows anything, they saw anything suspicious, anything that may help us to resolve this case, that's why we're out here."

Police also patrolled Metropolitan Parkway SW, where Balde owned the convenience store, Metropolitan Food Mart. Friends gathered around posters, balloons and candles to say goodbye.

"He never thought somebody would do this to him because of his heart, he had a good heart," said Tara Bridges.

Another woman signed her name to the memorial, expressing just what a good heart he had. "This world is not right. It's so sad. He just gave me some money to get my kids some food to eat, just the other day," she said, almost in tears.

Balde's family believes someone might have followed him from the grocery store. When confronted he tried to get away, possibly to protect his wife and two children inside their home.

"To get to your driveway and get assassinated in front of your family? Is very tough, very tough," said Balde's cousin, Yusef Jalo, who says the two love and know each other much more like brothers.

While no one in the neighborhood could ignore the sounds of gunfire, Jalo is relieved Balde's family did not actually see the attack.  Balde has two children.  A girl, age 5 and a 14 year old son.

"He's not a violent person. He's a very charmed, calm guy. I don't know how anyone could do this to him, his family," said Jalo.

Police say three suspects, possibly teenagers who live in the neighborhood were seen running away. Witnesses have also given a vague description of a suspicious car.

"It's a black vehicle, possibly the same type and color of a police vehicle," said officer Danielle White.

They're hoping the information they received from canvassing the neighborhood will not only give them a better description of the vehicle, but also the suspects involved.

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