DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A $10,000 reward has been issued for information leading to the arrest of three men who are suspected of killing an Oak Cliff storeowner after she refused to hand over property during a robbery outside her store on July 3.
Jin Ha, 64, and her husband closed the Quick Check Grocery #2 in the 3030 block of E. Illinois Ave. just after 8 p.m. when two men in their mid-twenties approached them as they walked to their car.
Police said the men targeted Ha because of an item she was carrying, which she refused to give up before being shot. Police did not identify the item, how many shots were fired or the gun the assailant used.
The two suspects darted into a tan or gold Chevrolet, which may be a Caprice, and escaped. Ha died at the hospital.
Two days later, customers and residents built a makeshift memorial to the storeowner, who, along with her husband, left South Korea for a better life and ran the store for 21 years.
“Ask God to touch the people’s heart who did this and convict them,” said customer Vern Howard. “They have destroyed not only that life, but the people they took care of.”
Police issued surveillance video of the vehicle driving away from the scene, and Oak Farms Dairy offered a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrests of the suspects in question.
Exxon Mobil owner Sam Farah said he was outside watering the store’s bushes and heard two gunshots. He said on one of his 32 surveillance cameras, the getaway car is seen at a nearby orange building. Then the car moves to the left, where a struggle takes place between Ha and the suspects.
“I saw somebody jump outside of the car, start yelling with somebody outside, then shoot that person, a third shot, I saw him, shooting the third bullet,” Farah said.
The area is no stranger to criminal activity. Including Ha’s murder, there have been 622 incidents reported in that section between July 1, 2010 and July 4, 2011, according to Dallas Police Department statistics.
An incident is described as anything requiring police attention, routine or not.
District 4 Councilman Dwaine Caraway, whose district the crime happened in, said he was confident police would catch those responsible and charge them with the crime.
“This has been a problem area for a while,” Caraway said. “We’re going to find these guys, and we’re going to prosecute to the fullest. We’re also going to send a signal that this type of stuff is not going to be tolerated.”
Also, on April 25, Dallas Area Rapid Transit officials forced a detour for evening trips of a route near Ha’s store because of safety concerns for riders and bus drivers.
A spokesman said at the time that residents hurled rocks, bricks and other objects at this bus after dark.
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the department’s homicide unit at 214.671.3661 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 214.373.8477.