MIDWEST CITY, Okla. - The flowers are wilting outside Gi's Market, but people are beginning to breathe easier, a week after the murder of a convenience store clerk.
The reason: police have a man in custody they believe is responsible for Salman Tahir's death.
"It brings a great sigh of relief not only to our agency but to our victim's family and, of course, the store owner," said Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes. "There was a heightened sense of urgency among our convenience store operators here in Midwest City and I think metro-wide with [suspect Samuel] Myers still out on the loose after he committed I think this cold and ruthless homicide."
Police arrested Myers, 17, Saturday, a week after he stole about $200 at gunpoint, shooting the surveillance system and the clerk, known as Sam.
"For them to steal the money off him and then shoot him was awful," said Rita Nesbit, a clerk at a Conoco store on Reno and Douglas. "When I heard it, I was shocked."
Convenience store owners around the metro - particularly those who shared Tahir's Pakistani descent - expressed their concerns to Midwest City Police.
If it could happen to Tahir, it could happen to anyone.
Midwest City police asked Oklahoma City police and the U.S. Marshals for assistance in their investigation.
Ultimately, they found Myers staying with family.
They brought him into custody without incident.
The family will not face any charges, Clabes said.
"With the announcement of the arrest, we got lots of calls from people who were relieved, as we were," Clabes said. "We're just glad it came to a conclusion with no one else hurt or injured."
The arrest brings some closure for regular customers like Terry Clow, who said he can now focus his energy on remembrance and memorial efforts for the man who would smile and wish him luck when he came in to buy lottery tickets.
Nesbit had no problem going back to work, though she said she is thinking about what she needs to do to keep herself safe.
"I really like talking to my customers and interacting with them, and I hate that thing," she said, pointing to a bulletproof glass that can be slid in front of the counter. "Wouldn't make any difference if you tried to protect yourself. What are you going to do if you work in a convenience store? You almost have to realize that maybe something like that is going to happen."