The Dollar General at Edmonson Village Shopping Center is still closed, a favorite cashier is gone, but customers came back Thursday to pay tribute to Deric Ford, Sr.
Ford was killed during a robbery in the store late Tuesday night. Police say two men demanded cash from the register. When Ford opened it, one of the suspects shot him.
"He always was pleasant and if I had a bad day, he would talk to me," said one customer.
Cheyenne Johnson called him "loving" and "caring."
"He hired a lot of teenagers from Edmonson Westside High School," she said.
Several people have built a memorial of balloons and flowers right outside the store. Close friend Terry McClellan came to pay his respects.
"They have no idea," McClellan said of the robbers. "They have no idea about the love that they took."
McClellan attended McKinney's Memorial Holiness Church where Ford served as deacon, a role that defined his life.
"What I remember is that he was Deacon Ford," McClellan says. "That means that someone looked out there and actually chose him because of his love and kindness."
Ford's wife, Kathleen, serves as minister at the church. She set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral expenses.
A $27,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of Ford's killers.