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Residents Of D.C. Neighborhood Mourn Grocer Killed By Robbers

A shrine for James Oh has popped up outside the store in 16th Street Heights that he ran for 20 years.
Armando Trull/WAMU
A shrine for James Oh has popped up outside the store in 16th Street Heights that he ran for 20 years.

Many residents of the 16th Street Heights neighborhood are mourning the murder of a beloved grocery store owner.

For 20 years, D.C. grocer James Oh joked with customers, gave free candy and ice cream to neighborhood kids, and if you didn't bring enough to pay the bill, the honor system allowed you to pay later.

The store is now closed and a shrine full of flowers, candles and hand-written missives express sorrow over Ohs beating and murder on the evening of July 4. Oh, known in the neighborhood as Pop Pop, was gun-butted over the head after he handed over $3,000 to two robbers. The criminals had beaten his wife and thrown her to the ground minutes before.

D.C. police have posted a video of the suspects and offered a $25,000 reward.

One note outside the store, signed in childish scrawl with green and pink flowers says, 'Thank you for all the ice cream and candy. You are so special." It's signed, "Isabella."

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