A man was shot to death late Friday night inside the Dorchester market where he worked, according to the store’s owner.
The victim was targeted, according to Boston police.
Rezaul Karim, who has owned Peguero’s Market at 218 Bowdoin St. for about five years, said he hired Natalino Gomes about two months ago. Karim said he had known Gomes for about four years, He said was Gomes was about 30 years old.
Gomes was working the floor while another employee worked the counter when he was shot around 11:45 p.m., Karim said. A couple of customers were shopping at the time, Karim said.
Police said the victim was in his late 20s but did not release the man’s name, say where he lived, or give any information about a possible motive as of Saturday afternoon.
But Police Commissioner William B. Evans said at the scene early Saturday morning that the shooting did not appear to be a robbery.
“We believe they came in looking for a certain person here,” Evans said.
No arrests have been made, according to police.
“There is no suspect information available for public release at this time,” Officer Stephen McNulty, police spokesman, wrote in an e-mail Saturday. “There have been no arrests made, the investigation remains active and ongoing.”
McNulty said the city has had 50 homicides this year, including Gomes. He said he did not have the number of homicides for the same period last year but there was a total of 49 homicides in 2016.
Karim said he hired Gomes to fix things around the store and to restock inventory, and called him “a good worker,” saying that he was “friendly and talked to everyone.” He said he knew Gomes’s family.
A woman who said she lives above the market but declined to give her name said she knew the victim and that “everybody loved him.”
“He was so nice,” she said, “When my mom would have trouble with her car, he would help her.”
She said she and her 3-year-old son slept through the shooting but said the killing makes her want to move.
A 64-year-old man who would give only his last name, Clark, said he goes to the store every day on his morning walk.
“I saw him yesterday,” Clark said. “I joked that he gained weight from Thanksgiving.”
Clark has lived around the corner from the store his whole life. He said he couldn’t believe that “T,” his nickname for the victim, was the one killed. He also expressed outrage that someone would come into “this little store” and open fire.
“What if there were children there?” he said, shaking his head.
Karim said he’s never seen this kind of violence in his five years owning the store. The worst that happened before Friday night was getting his glass windows broken, he said.
The store was closed Saturday morning, with police and a cleaning crew present. Karim said he isn’t sure when he will reopen.