Man shot to death outside Hopewell convenience store identified

Crime

HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — The man shot to death outside a convenience store in Hopewell Wednesday night has been identified.

Hopewell Police said 49-year-old Melike Herbert Benjamin of Chesterfield was the victim of a shooting near the gas pumps at the Quick Express Store on S. 15th Avenue at around 9:30 p.m.

Officers and EMS responded and upon their arrival, they found a Benjamin unresponsive with life-threatening gunshot wounds.

Emergency personnel attempted to revive the 49-year-old man but determined he had already died. Members of the Hopewell Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division (CID) then responded to the scene to begin their investigation.

Benjamin was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy to determine his exact cause of death.

Surveillance videos from the store show an “unidentified person of interest” who was seen leaving the scene in a possible gold Chevy Tahoe early 2000’s model. The individual is described as a black male, approximately 5’8″-6′ in height. He’s seen in the footage wearing red shorts, a black t-shirt, white socks and a gold necklace.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family,” said Chief of Police Kamran Afzal in a news release.

“It’s really ridiculous to come to a gas station… pump your gas, and you gotta be looking over your shoulders,” said Ronald Oftadal.

Oftadal works in the area and frequents the gas station. At least 12 people have been killed in the metro-Richmond area since Friday and that fact is weighing on many.

“They can’t bring him back. Nothing will bring the man back or anyone else back,” Oftadal said. “The whole family, now they have to bury him.”

Benjamin’s death isn’t the only tragedy in Hopewell this week. 18-year-old Joshua Arrington died after getting shot in Arlington park on the fourth of July. Police said there were more than 100 people, including children, there at the time.

“You’re here one day and you’re gone the next,” Oftadal said. “Stop the violence. This violence has to stop.”

The Hopewell Police Department is requesting that anyone with information on this crime contact Lead Detective Mark Polumbo of the Hopewell Criminal Investigations Unit at (804) 541-2284. Anyone with information who wishes to remain anonymous may contact the Hopewell Prince George Crime Solvers Hotline in Hopewell at (804) 541-2202 or provide their tip using the P3tips mobile app.

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