Beloved store clerk killed on his last day of work
Shooting victim was about to retire from Alief-area shop
Hafeez Qureshi was the man who took care of everyone around him — his wife, children, grandchildren, siblings and coworkers.
He was beloved at the convenience store where he worked, always bringing his co-workers home-cooked meals and even helping them out financially. Loyal customers followed him to the different stores where he worked as a clerk throughout the years, most recently Sonny’s — some would even keep him company while he was closing up the Alief-area store at night.
On Saturday, his final day of work before retiring, 66-yearold Qureshi was killed at 8:30 p.m. by four armed burglars at the store in the 9000 block of Dairy Ashford. He left behind his wife, two grandchildren, two daughters and three sons — one of whom has special needs.
“It’s heartbreaking because he called his wife and said, ‘Today’s going to be my last day,’ ” his son-in-law, Ikram Ullah, said. “He hung up the phone, and 15 minutes later, the incident took place.”
Witnesses told police that the men demanded money before firing three to five shots at Qureshi. Four men — Daivion Gully, 18, Melvin Jones, 20, Artavius Johnson, 28, and DeAnjelo Wells, 19 — were charged with capital murder Friday in his death.
“Houston police caught the guys so no other family has to go through what we’re going through,” Ullah said. “It’s a big sense of closure.”
Qureshi had been working at various convenience stores under the same owner for the past 18 years. Ullah said Qureshi was incredibly hard-working and never took vacations — even during the Muslim holidays he and his family celebrated.
“He was… I run out of words,” Ullah said. “He always took care of everybody. He was the head of the family. Even his brother considered him as a father, not a brother.”
Qureshi’s brother had recently traveled to the U.S. from Dubai to visit him so they could travel and have barbecues together, per Qureshi’s request.
Ullah said his father-in-law was generous and would go out of his way to help everyone.
Originally from Pakistan, Qureshi never failed to provide his nine brothers and two sisters back home with financial and moral support. He would ask his wife to cook homemade meals for him to bring for his employees, making sure they ate before him — even if it meant he wouldn’t eat at all. He would even financially help his employees, who Ullah said came to their family home crying in grief. Several of Qureshi’s customers attended his funeral on Tuesday.
“He never showed me if he was disheartened or broken down,” Ullah said. “He only ever showed me his strong side. He would rather help you than you help him.”
Amim Dayani, who also worked at Sonny’s, described Qureshi as a friendly face in the community and a family man at his core.
“He was a wonderful person, a family man, a loving father,” he said. “I get goosebumps when I think about him, to think that he is not here.”
Mourners, including several customers at the convenience store where he had worked, laid Hafeez Qureshi to rest Tuesday after he was killed in an armed robbery Saturday.