Updated: Tuesday, 19 Feb 2013, 7:17 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 19 Feb 2013, 5:23 PM EST
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- A clerk who was shot and killed in a convenience store shook a New Haven neighborhood. Family members are speaking out after the arrest of a man, who police believe pulled the trigger.
If you walk around that Orchard Street neighborhood, you can't find anyone with a bad word to say about the victim, 55-year-old Abdul Ghani El Rawas.
The young man, who police say took his life, was in court on Tuesday and is being held on a two million dollar bond.
It was not easy for Milton Daniels to see his 20-year-old son before a judge facing murder and felony murder charges.
"I'm sorry to the family of the victim of what happened. From the bottom of my heart, I'm so sorry, but I'm just going to pray for him right now," said Daniels.
"Do you believe he's innocent," asked News 8's Erin Logan.
"Well, we'll find out during the case," said Daniels.
Police say Milton Daniels Jr. pulled the trigger in New Haven's first homicide of the year on January 22 in the late morning.
55-year-old Abdul Ghani El Rawas was working at Orchard Market when he was apparently robbed, then shot and killed. These surveillance pictures and witnesses helped police in their investigation.
Friday, they executed a search warrant and found evidence linking Daniels Jr. to the crime.
"He was on our radar for other crimes actually, burglaries," said Asst. Chief Archie Generoso, New Haven Police.
Police say Daniels Jr. is no stranger to the neighborhood and on the day of the shooting he was there several times.
"It wasn't a lot of money. It wasn't a lot of money taken. We do know that," said Asst. Chief Generoso.
Family and friends just want to know why, why take an innocent life?
"He never had any problem with anybody," said Adib Chouiki, the victim's cousin. "He's just a hard working person who works to make a living and serve the comunity and it's not an easy neighborhood to have a store in that particular area."
Police say this arrest and others in the city's second homocide of the year should put the community at ease.
"We want to send a message out to the people who do these types of crimes that we're gonna stay on top of them and we're going to pursue you until we bring you to justice," said Asst. Chief Generoso.
The owner and customers at the convenience store are having a hard time without El Rawas but want to keep the friendly, welcoming vibe going that El Rawas had.
Daniels Jr. will be back in court next month.