Police responded to a robbery alarm and shots fired where they found 42-year-old Kamal Awwad
Awwad was the owner of Al’s Market in Toledo
Police have no suspects at this time
Awwad was indicted last year with 25 members of his family for conspiracy
In Toledo, Ohio, on Christmas Eve 42-year-old Kamal Awwad, owner of Al’s Market, was shot and killed during a robbery while working.
Police were responding to a robbery alarm and shots fired when they found Awwad suffering from at least one gunshot wound to the chest at roughly 9:06 pm. Awwad was treated and transported to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.
At this time there are no suspects in regards to the Christmas Eve shooting. Detectives and police in the area are asking for help from members of the community who may have information about the crime.
Neighbors in the area mourned the loss and spoke very highly of the store owner. Multiple people said Awwad was very kind and even tried to work with those who did not always have money to shop at the store, many times allowing them to pay later.
While neighbors in the area claimed Awwad to be a very kind man, a federal indictment claims there was another side of the owner of Al’s Market.
In March of 2015, the FBI named Awwad, along with 25 of his family members, in an indictment alleging the family was taking part in multiple crimes. The indictment claimed that the family owned businesses around the Toledo area that they used for various criminal schemes, including the sale of counterfeit goods, trafficking stolen goods, and unlawfully cashing checks.
Those also indicted with Awwad included, Mamoun Awwad, 43, of Maumee; Adnan Awad, 33, of Toledo; Ihab Awad, 31, of Toledo; Ayman Awwad, 42, of Maumee; Anwar Awad, 39, of Toledo; Fady Awwad, 34, of Toledo; Aref Kahala, 23, of Maumee; Saif Alkhatib, 23, of Perrysburg; Haney Sarsour, 36, of Dearborn, Mich.; Ameen Sarsour, 31, of Dearborn, Mich.; Michael Safadi, 37, of Westland, Mich.; Freddy Delatorre, 32, of Toledo; Jeffrey Houttekier, 24, of Toledo; Ahmed Abdulateeef, 47, of Toledo; Ehab Adbdelsalam, 22, of Toledo; Timothy Fields, 32, of Toledo; Ali Abdallah, 34, of Dearborn, Mich.; Mustafa Deebajah, 27, of Dearborn, Mich.; Essa Allawneh, age unknown, of Amman, Jordan; Adli Alawneh, age unknown, of Amman, Jordan; Omar Dari, 54, of Ann Arbor, Mich.; Mutaz Almumani, 29, hometown unknown; Fadi Qasis, 30, hometown unknown; Mayssam Kaddoura, 36, of Toledo and Jamal Abdel Aziz, 44, of Toledo.
The Awwad family enterprise would buy stolen iPhones, iPads, and Androids cellular phones, from “drug addicts and low-income people,” and then alter the phones so they could be registered on cellular networks. At that point, they would resale the stolen merchandise around the Michigan area and overseas.
Mamoun Awwad was said to have been able to arrange the sales by meeting with crew members of Royal Jordanian Airlines in Detroit. Mamoun was able to have them transport electronics and cash. According to the Lucas County auditor’s office, Mamoun bought Al’s Market in 2000.
According to the indictment, the goal of the Awwad family enterprise’s conspiracy was to generate cash and send it back overseas to establish residences in Rammoun, Palestine. These residences would then be occupied by members of the Awwad family enterprise and their families.
The family was allegedly unlawfully cashing checks throughout their businesses as a way to generate revenue and launder money from stolen merchandise they had sold. According to the indictment, the family illegally cashed $11 million worth of checks. The indictment, at one point, has a recording of Awwad telling another defendant that he keeps $7,000 to $8,000 hidden in the back room for cashing checks.
The family was also said to have been responsible for selling knock-off name brand clothing. The knock-off clothing had fake logos of the actual company they were claiming to be. Knock-off shoes were also being sold, along with the clothing.
The indictment states that the family used violence to keep a hold of the stolen merchandise market in Toledo. Mamoun reportedly was involved in several violent incidents. One of those incidents, Mamoun allegedly assaulted a man outside a cell phone store after the man tried to sell seven stolen iPhones without his permission.
In all, the 26 family members were charged with, RICO conspiracy, conspiracy—interstate and foreign transportation of stolen property, conspiracy to smuggle goods from the U.S., conspiracy to commit access device fraud, conspiracy to traffic counterfeit goods, conspiracy to commit money laundering. According to the indictment, the conspiracy took place from 2006 through 2015.
Awwad had pleaded not guilty to the charges and was still waiting to go to trial at the time of his shooting.