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Police release new details surrounding murder of gas station clerk beaten with hammer

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News is learning the details of what led up to the murder of a gas station clerk.

Witnesses say 25-year-old Vivek Saini was attacked with a hammer by a homeless man at the Chevron Food Mart at Snapfinger and Cleveland Road in Lithonia late Monday night.

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Workers at the Food Mart said since Sunday evening they allowed a homeless man, who police have identified as 53-year-old Julian Faulkner, to come in and out of their store.

“He asked us for chips, and coke. We gave him everything including the water,” said one of the employees at the Chevron.

He said they spent almost two days helping the man.

“He asked if I could get a blanket I said we don’t have blankets so I gave him a jacket. He was walking in and out asking him for cigarettes water and everything,” said the employee. “He was sitting here all the time and we never asked him to get out because we know that it’s cold.”

But on Monday night, Saini told Faulkner it was time to go.

“He asked him to leave or else he was going to call the cops, he had been there for two days,” said the employee.

Police said as Saini left to go home, Faulkner attacked him with a hammer.

“He hit him from the back then he kept on hitting for almost 50 times on the face on the head,” said the employee.

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According to the incident report, when officers arrived Faulkner was still holding a hammer and standing over the victim.

Police gave him verbal commands to drop the hammer.

Saini, a recent MBA graduate, was pronounced dead inside the store.

“Can’t even describe what I’m feeling. We were always trying to be helpful and we never expected this sort of thing would happen.”

Police said Faulkner is in jail on charges of malice murder and interference with government property.

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