Community remembers slain store owner

Updated:

ATLANTA —

Several people gathered Wednesday night during a vigil to remember a southwest Atlanta store owner who was shot and killed in his driveway.

Customers left flowers and candles outside Demba Balde’s store to honor a man they say was a pillar of kindness in a crime-ridden area.

“He was the type of person – he would give you the shirt off his back or whatever, if you needed anything, he always tried to uplift,” friend Arnold Harris said.

Clayton County police said someone shot Balde as he unloaded groceries at his home just off Upper Riverdale Road. Police said Balde tried to run away, but was gunned down.

Balde’s friends said they believe the gunman followed him home, knowing he kept money on him.

“If it was about money, he would have gave you money,”

Overnight, a source told Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman that detectives were at a Kroger down the street from Balde’s store where there may be surveillance video.

“Not only did you take him, you took from this community. You took from this community and it was senseless,” friend Yulinda Dunlap said.

A police poster says that witnesses saw three people fleeing the scene after Balde was shot on Tuesday night. Police said it is unclear how many people were involved.