Convenience store owners have been rallying around Tanjim Siam, the 23-year-old store clerk who was shot in the head during an armed robbery on July 14.
Siam remains in a coma in the intensive care unit at Boston Medical Center, according to Humayun Morshed, a friend of Siam’s who serves as secretary of the Boston Convenience Store Owners Association.
“It’s devastating,” he said.
The association, which is a coalition of owners of more than 100 Boston stores, has been meeting with city leaders and is trying to make arrangements for Siam’s family in Bangladesh to come to the United States to see him. They also launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for Siam.
Morshed said Siam’s parents and brothers want to see him as soon as possible.
“Hopefully they can get the visas and they can proceed to come to the States,” said Morshed. “He’s in really bad condition.”
“His mother says she wants to give her son a huge hug,” he said.
Siam worked at the M & R convenience store at 718 Shawmut Ave. in Roxbury. He’s been hospitalized since the night of the robbery, which happened as Siam was getting ready to close the store on July 14.
Morshed said the robber first demanded cash, then cigarettes, and then T-shirts. He said Siam was cooperative and complied with each of those demands. Then the robber told Siam to lay down on the floor. Siam did as he was told, and the robber shot him in the head, he said.
This week the Boston Convenience Store Owners Association held a Zoom meeting with Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and other city officials to discuss their concerns in the aftermath of the shooting. The city’s convenience store owners are worried that high unemployment and the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to more crime. Morshed said they spoke to Walsh about increasing police presence and improving security cameras and lighting at local businesses. Store owners want to “make sure the work environment is safe” for their employees, he said.
Walsh said police are continuing to investigate the shooting.
“My heart breaks for Tanjim and all his loved ones,” Walsh said in a statement. “This act of violence will forever hurt a young immigrant in Boston who was working to provide for his family, and I know the Boston Police Department is continuing its investigation into this crime. We will continue to support the work of the Boston Convenience Store Owners Association.”
The Boston Convenience Store Owners Association is also scheduled to have a meeting with Boston Police Commissioner William Gross on Wednesday afternoon.
Morshed said he hopes to learn more about the status of the investigation into the shooting of Siam.
“We’re hoping [Gross] can give us some updates,” he said. “The community is still very scared.”
Morshed said local store owners are looking forward to continuing to work with Walsh and the Boston Police Department “and our communities so we can continue to offer food, drinks, and the many other essential items that families need, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.”