Suspect in murder of North Lauderdale food store owner surrenders

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A man accused in the fatal shooting of a food store owner in North Lauderdale has surrendered to authorities, on the same day that thousands of people came together to bid a final farewell to the victim.

Nineteen-year-old Tyrone Fields Jr. was taken into custody and confessed to the killing on Friday, one day after detectives released surveillance video showing the suspect and the victim in a confrontation at Aunt Molly’s Food Store, near Southwest 17th Street and South State Road 7, Tuesday afternoon.

Investigators said Fields demanded money from the store’s owner, 61-one-year-old Ayub Ali, and robbed him. Officials said he left the business, then returned and opened fire.

Ali was taken to Broward Health Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

People paid their respects by leaving candles and flowers at a growing memorial outside of Ali’s store.

Joaquin Nieves visited to leave flowers Saturday morning and reacted emotionally when 7News broke the news to him of the arrest.

“God bless. I’m so glad they caught him. Oh, my God,” said Nieves.

Friends of the food store owner, who was a Bangladeshi-American, said he was very well-liked.

“Mr. Ali, he was a very nice person. He was in our community, a jolly person,” said friend Arshad Ali. “You can see, as well, how many people came for his funeral.”

Saturday night, the local Muslim community held a prayer service for Ali and his family at a mosque.

“We all heard the really shocking news,” said Reza Islam, a friend of the victim. “Everybody all over the world, in Bangladesh, they saw that video, and everybody’s upset.”

“He was a very friendly man,” said Anis Rahmon, who also attended the service. “Worked with the people, helped people. This happened.”

Loved ones said Ali, a father of four, came to the United States to build a life. He ended up dying in the floor of the business he built from the ground up.

“He’d bought it 40 years ago, and he was working seven days a week,” said friend Monir Hossain. “He was so hardworking.”

Ali was laid to rest at a Muslim cemetery in West Miami-Dade on Friday.

Mourners said the shooting sent shock waves throughout the community and beyond.

“It’s not only our communities, it’s the people around there, and the people who do this kind of business,” said Arshad Ali. “Everybody got nervous.”

While Ali’s loved ones are still devastated by the loss, they are now grateful for some justice.

“I feel good now because he needs to [be] punished,” said Kazi Hayder, a friend of Ali. “He’s the bad guy. He killed my owner, and he’s my friend also. Longtime friend.”

Following the release of surveillance video, BSO detectives received a number of tips. Their investigation led them to someone who knew Fields. That individual encouraged the suspect to meet with law enforcement.

Fields turned himself in at the Fort Lauderdale Police Station, just after 12:30 p.m. on Friday. He faces one count of murder and an armed robbery charge.

Ali’s family and friend said they hope Fields is punished to the fullest extent of the law. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

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