INDIANAPOLIS –IMPD is making a plea with the public to turn in the two individuals responsible for killing two employees at Jordan’s Fish & Chicken.
Officers were dispatched to the restaurant in the 9100 block of E 21st Street on reports of a person shot just after 1 a.m.
The call came from a relative of one of the victims. The relative drove to the restaurant after becoming concerned that no one was answering repeated telephone calls, police said.
Responding officers located two males, both in their mid-30s, suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. EMS personnel pronounced the victims dead at the scene. The victims were later identified by the coroner as Wesam Sammour and Ammar Shatnawi.
"We have two individuals that are willing to take the lives of two seemingly innocent family members trying to work hard and make an honest living at a nice establishment on the east side," said IMPD Captain Richard Riddle during a press conference on Wednesday.
The owner of Jordan’s Fish & Chicken released the surveillance video from inside restaurant.
The video shows two armed men walking into the restaurant with handguns and then jumping over the counter. The suspects killed Sammour and Shatnawi in the back of the restaurant before jumping back over the counter and fleeing the scene.
One of the suspects was wearing a red coat, and the other was wearing a blue coat.
Police believe they are in their mid-20’s to early 30’s, and their motive was robbery.
“These individuals were hell bent on robbery. There’s no question. They came in with guns up and guns pointed,” said Riddle. “There was no need to kill these individuals. We understand that they probably went in to do a robbery and innocent men lost their lives."
“When I used to work here, they didn’t speak too much English, but we’d help each other out. They’d teach me Arabic. I’d teach them English,” said former co-worker Jonathan Flores.
As a former co-worker, Flores was shocked to hear about the overnight violence.
“They were really really close friends to me because we spent a lot of time working together, from open to close,” said Flores.
“This is a very sad situation,” said Rose Kiki.
Rose runs a neighboring hair salon. She too considered both men killed friends.
“Because we do business next to them, we are like brother and sister. I’d say, ‘Brother I need chicken.’”
“For someone to come and take their lives, they’re savages,” said Rev. Malachi Walker with Young Men Inc.
The double murder, coupled with the year’s first murder Tuesday on Jefferson, has leaders once again searching for solutions to stop deadly crimes on the east side just 4 days into the new year.
“We can do something about this, but it’s going to take whole community coming together,” said Walker.
“These two suspect have clearly shown they are not afraid to take the lives of two innocent people during a robbery and that’s what our sense of urgency is, public safety and getting these individuals off the streets,” said Riddle.
While the suspects in this case concealed their identities, police hope someone recognizes the pair and turns them in before anyone else gets killed.
"We're hoping that someone in the community has a conscience and does the right thing even if they have to turn in a loved one," said Riddle.
This is an active and ongoing investigation. Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS(8477).