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Crown Heights community mourns deli worker shot to death, as police release photo of gunman

37-year-old bodega worker shot, killed in Brooklyn
37-year-old bodega worker shot, killed in Brooklyn 02:55

NEW YORK -- Police released a photo Tuesday of the gunman wanted in a deadly shooting of a deli worker in Brooklyn

The bodega reopened for business Tuesday, but the victim's coworkers were too shaken to speak.

Grieving customers lay down candles and flowers in front of Amin Deli, where 37-year-old Nazim Berry was killed Monday. Neighbors were unable to understand how the shooter could be so callous.

"He was humble, he helped everybody out here," Crown Heights resident Katrina Arroyo told CBS New York's Christina Fan. "The kid worked in all these little stores just to make extra money, didn't bother no one at all. This hit hard."

"He's a very quiet guy. He's always by his aunt. He never be in trouble," Crown Heights resident Amara Cordoves said. "Very sad because I see life is nothing for other people. ... They don't have no respect."

Brooklyn deli worker Nazim Berry was shot and killed on the job in Crown Heights. CBS New York

Berry's heartbroken mother, who rushed to the corner of Franklin Avenue and Lincoln Place on Monday night, said her son's death was all over a cigar.

"The guy asked him to buy a Black & Mild, and he said no, and they started to argue," his mother, Danette Hollie, said.

Berry's mother wasn't there at the time, but said his coworkers told her the customer left and then returned with a gun.

"When the guy went to draw the gun, Nazim [saw] it, and they had a tussle over it. And they said that they tussled, and when you bend down and you're tussling, the guy pointed the gun right to the back of his head and shot him," said Hollie.

Hollie says her son complained about people asking for things and she wishes he would have said yes this time.

"I knew it was senseless. I knew it was. I knew that it had to be over something stupid because I know his heart and Nazim's pride when he's over here on the corner to work and love everybody and help who he can help," she said.

Watch Christina Fan's report

Police release photo of gunman wanted in deadly Brooklyn deli shooting 02:01

Surveillance cameras captured the sound of a single gunshot before someone was seen sprinting away from the scene.

"I hope he gets apprehended and I hope they throw the book at him," Crown Heights resident T. Neal said. 

"You didn't have money for a cigar, but you had a gun?" said Arroyo. "Something doesn't make sense. You know how many times I'm in that store and these kids come in. 'Ma'am, can you buy me a bag of chips,' or whatever, so then I just, you know what, yes, yes, I get it for them."

The United Bodegas of America is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. The association is also working on raising money to help Berry's family with funeral arrangements.

"The most important thing here is getting this guy off the street. Whoever committed this crime needs to be put in jail for a very long time," said United Bodegas of America spokesman Fernando Mateo.

Police say this is the first shooting in the precinct so far this year.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.    

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