Oakland Park, Florida

From the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel of September 11, 2007

Oakland Park store owner guns down robbery suspect

A Hurricane Katrina refugee who relocated his family and his urban clothing store here was involved in another traumatic event Monday night. He shot and killed a would-be armed robber, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

Store owner George P. Azar, 25, of Sunrise, was not injured in the attempted hold-up at O.G.’s Corner Urban Ware, 2192 W. Oakland Park Blvd., said his wife, Dana Kennedy. Officials said it was too early to tell whether Azar, who opened the business in October 2005, would be charged in the death.

There were no customers inside the store when the shooting took place, and investigators were trying to find possible witnesses who were in the area when it happened, said sheriff’s spokesman Jim Leljedal.

Officials did not immediately release the name of the person who was killed but did say that he apparently had walked into the store with a teenage boy, whom deputies were still searching for late Monday. The Sheriff’s Office did not release a detailed description of that teenager, who they said also was armed.

Details of the shooting were still unclear late Monday.

Deputies responding to a silent holdup alarm at the business about 7:30 p.m. reached the store in the Buglewood Plaza to find one of the suspected robbers dead on the store floor, Leljedal said.

The Sheriff’s Office brought its 40-foot mobile crime lab to the scene so that investigators could immediately begin collecting and analyzing forensic evidence. The SWAT team showed up to aid in the search for the teenage suspect, and K-9s sniffed around the shopping center for clues. Meanwhile, a Sheriff’s Office helicopter, with its beaming search light, circled the area.

More than a dozen people who were doing laundry at the laundromat next door to O.G.’s were forced to stick around until investigators interviewed them, officials said.

If investigators determine that Azar acted in self-defense, the shooting Monday would become the fifth such case in the county this year.

From the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel of September 17, 2007

Lauderdale man charged in alleged accomplice’s death

Teen died holding up a clothing store, detectives say

The Broward Sheriff’s Office said detectives have arrested the accomplice of a robbery suspect shot and killed last week by a store clerk at an Oakland Park clothing store.

Michael McNeal, 19, was taken into custody Sunday outside a church in the 200 block of SW 27 Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. McNeal, of Fort Lauderdale, faces several charges, including murder, robbery, burglary and carjacking. He remains in jail without bond.

Store clerk George Azar, 25, shot and killed McNeal’s friend, Hung Nguyen, 17, after they entered the Corner Urban Wear store armed with handguns, detectives said. Detectives believe McNeal fled on foot after the shooting.

Azar was not injured in the incident and has not been charged. If investigators find that Azar shot Nguyen in self-defense, the shooting would become the fifth such death in the county this year.


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