Family Demands Justice; Mayor Booker Mulls Surveillance Cams For Bodegas

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for three suspects after a teenager was gunned down during an attempted robbery at his family’s bodega in Newark.

Jamil Bader Jr. was working at the Jamil & Sons Family Grocery on Clinton Avenue around 9:55 p.m. Thursday when two of the suspects, who were masked and armed, stormed inside and demanded cash, police told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.

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1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

“One pointed a gun at me, the other one tried to go behind the counter,” the victim’s uncle told Sandberg. “When my nephew saw that he rushed the guy that was going behind the counter.”

As the 18-year-old struggled with the suspect on the floor, the second man shot him in the head, Sandberg reported.

“That’s what you do, 100 percent man, and he wasn’t tolerating any old Jack coming in and taking anything from him,” friend Dave Raschard told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez, defending Bader’s actions.

Jamil Bader Jr. (credit: CBS 2)

The suspects fled the scene in a silver or gray 300 series BMW, prosecutors said.

Family and friends gathered Friday outside the deli, where a memorial is growing.

“It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” the victim’s uncle said. “I wish it would’ve been me and not him. Why do they always take the good people?”

Bader left behind a 1-year-old daughter.

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“He loved her to death and now I don’t know how to explain this to her,” Bader’s fiancee, Christina Lewis, said. “I don’t even know how I’m going to go through this.”

Bader’s devastated mother demanded justice.

“I feel the pain of all those mothers I see on the news and now it’s my turn,” Adelaida Bader said. “What are we doing to stop this?”

“What they did to my nephew, they could do to yours. We have to stop these crimes,” Irma Soto added.

Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio released a statement saying, “Despite the fact that we have managed to decrease murders by more than 10 percent this year, any time we have a senseless and tragic murder of one of our youth it is especially frustrating and disheartening.”

The Bodega Association of the United States is offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Mayor Cory Booker offered his condolences, and floated the idea of adding city surveillance cameras at all bodegas for added protection, CBS 2’s Sanchez reported.

“We’re very concerned about the spree of attacks on bodega owners,” Bodega Association spokesman Fernando Mateo said. “It seems like it’s every day now there’s a robbery…and we need to put an end to this.”

Last week, a bodega worker was accidentally shot by a police officer while fleeing a gunpoint robbery in the Bronx.

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