Two masked robbers ended an immigrant’s dream of a better life Monday night, Denver police said.
Two suspects wearing masks and dark clothing entered the Monaco Grocery at 6622 E. Colfax Ave. in Denver just before 9 p.m., Denver police Detective John White said. One of the suspects was armed with a gun and shot the clerk working in the store.
White said the wounded man, whom friends identified as Yezew Anday, died a short time later at Denver Health Medical Center.
Tafere Ambaw, 44, said that he was a friend of Anday’s and that the two of them emigrated from Ethiopia about the same time in 1992.
The grocery where Ambaw said Anday was volunteering his time is near several Ethiopian-owned businesses in a neighborhood heavily populated with African immigrants. “He was my best friend. My brother,” Ambaw said of Anday. “He was very nice. He was a hard worker, and he loved everybody.”
Ambaw said Anday was divorced and had a 16-year-old daughter in New Mexico. Anday came to Denver looking for a better place for his young family, Ambaw said.
“We tried to get better education, a better life,” Ambaw said.
Ed Thomas owns a barbershop two doors from the Monaco Grocery and said he spoke with the store’s owner Monday night.
“He sounded very distraught. You could tell that something was wrong,” Thomas said.
Police are still investigating the murder and robbery. It is not clear what, if anything, the suspects took, White said.
Thomas said businesses in the shopping center don’t typically keep much money on hand. “I understand hard times,” he said. “But you don’t kill that boy over $80.”
The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner has not formally identified the victim, pending notification of next of kin.
Denver police are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact them at 720-913-2000 or Crime
Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).