Family and friends mourn young store clerk's murder - - Jackson, MS

Bassfield, MS 02/08/09

Family and friends mourn young store clerk's murder

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By Roslyn Anderson - bio | email

BASSFIELD, MS (WLBT ) - Copiah County authorities have made no arrests in Friday's fatal shooting of a teenage store owner.

Shiva Behal's family and friends are searching for answers while preparing for his burial.

Family and friends say the 18 year old didn't want to keep a gun for protection at his Gallman store.

"He always felt like he doesn't need a gun, and he could handle it himself," said friend Tarun Arora.

Mike Behal, the shooting victim's father, said the store opened about a month ago.

Arora knows the dangers of the retail business. He and his wife own Sonya's Discount Store in Bassfield. He had recently visited Behal at the new business and talked with him about safety.

"I really wish he had one by going through all this.  It's hard to believe how could someone just kill somebody or I imagine robbing something," said Arora.

"We're shocked how this happened," Mke Behal told reporters Friday at the scene of the fatal shooting.

Sunday afternoon the elder Behal said the next day when Shiva was to start serving food through the Crispy Crunch franchise at the store, he and his wife will instead be burying their only son.

The day of the shooting cameras had not yet been installed in the store and there are few clues.

"We had a guy that was in the back doing some painting.  He didn't see anything.  He just heard the commotion and he's the one actually that saw the subject run out of the store," said Sheriff Harold Jones.

Authorities are still on the hunt for Behal's killer.

His mother Swami said after the teen businessman's funeral, she will run the store for her son --a young man described as trusting and friendly with a desire to make his store a success and bring smiles to his customers.

"I hope they really find that guy," added Arora.

Funeral services for Shiva Behal will be held Monday morning at 10:00 at the Riverwood Funeral Home in Brookhaven.  

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