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Woman shot in the head in front of her children while working at family deli

Posted at 5:16 PM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-25 15:28:18-05

BALTIMORE — A memorial for 36-year-old Carmen Rodriguez continues to grow outside the family deli in Southeast Baltimore.

Neighbors lovingly called her 'Mom,' saying she was a staple in the community. Working at the deli, she touched so many.

"She was always there for me when I didn't have no one else to turn to," said neighbor Christina.

A mother to four children, family friend Nidal Alshalabi said she worked sometimes 16-hour shifts to provide for them.

"She's a very good woman. She's a very hard worker. She had been trying hard since she got to the states for the past 11 years to reach her dream to save her kids futures and to make it happen," said Alshalabi.

And Sunday evening, while at work, she was shot in the head.

"In cold blood, some random guy just walked in, robbed her and shot her in the head," said Alshalabi.

Alshalabi said her family is torn apart. Her four children, including her newborn baby, were next to her when she was murdered.

"Thank God the kids survived and thank God their dad is here for them and I'm so so so sorry for her," said Alshalabi.

The whole neighborhood is grieving. The neighborhood was hit not once, not twice but three times over the weekend. In 24 hours, three people were murdered within a quarter mile of Southeast Baltimore, just north of Patterson Park.

"This is our community and when things happen in our community, we don't turn a blind eye to them. When someone gets hurt, we all feel hurt," said Hansoo Jin, pastor of nearby Harris Creek Community Church.

"Justice is needed. As much as we need air, water, food and clothes and everything, justice is needed before anything else," said Alshalabi.

Rodriguez' family has owned Kim Deli and Grocery for 10 years and Alshalabi said she has worked there for at least five years.