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West Ridge Man Killed Shop Clerk In Attempted Robbery And Dropped His Phone At Crime Scene, Officials Say

Sean Dunnavant is charged with murder in the killing of 66-year-old store clerk Salim Khamo, who tried to pull his own gun to defend himself, prosecutors said.

A man is sought in the killing of a West Ridge shop clerk.
Chicago Police Department
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WEST RIDGE — A West Ridge man killed a 66-year-old liquor store clerk during a botched robbery, police said Friday.

Sean Dunnavant, 53, has been charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 17 shooting death of Salim Khamo at J&K Food & Liquor, 6320 N. Western Ave., police said.

Khamo, 66, was working behind the counter of J&K Food and Liquor when Dunnavant rode up to the store on his bike around 10 p.m. the night of the shooting, prosecutors said at a bond court hearing Friday.

Dunnavant walked into the store wearing a face mask and winter hat, prosecutors said. He walked up the counter and placed his gun on the surface while attempting to rob the store, prosecutors said.

Khamo, who had a Firearm Owners Identification card and was licensed for concealed carry, stepped back and attempted to pull his own gun out of his waistband in self defense, prosecutors said. Dunnavant fired his gun, shooting Khamo once in his chest, prosecutors said.

Khamo was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, where he was pronounced dead., officials said.

A refugee from Iraq, Khamo opened J&K Food and Liquor in 2006 and was a compassionate and hard worker, according to the Sun-Times. He recently sold the store to a family member as he planned to retire, prosecutors said in court Friday.

Dunnavant fled the store after the shooting and dropped his cellphone outside, prosecutors said. He also left behind his bicycle, which has a visible rust pattern and a serial number on its headlamp, prosecutors said.

Dunnavant was also caught on security footage arriving and leaving the store, prosecutors said.

Officers found the phone and extracted information that led them to Dunnavant, including selfies of Dunnavant and a photograph of his social security card and a medical release form containing his name and other identifying information, prosecutors said.

The phone also contained a photo of a bike, which was matched to the one left at the scene, prosecutors said.

A person who knows Dunnavant also identified the bike left at the scene as belonging to Dunnavant, prosecutors said. The witness also had Dunnavant’s number saved in his phone, and the number matched that of the cellphone found outside the store, officials said. Dunnavant’s phone also had the witness’ number saved in its contacts.

Dunnavant was arrested Wednesday and gave his cellphone number to police, which matched that of the phone found at the scene, prosecutors said.

Dunnavant has been charged with murder and attempted armed robbery. He has multiple prior offenses, including two seven-year sentences for aggravated robbery out of DuPage County, prosecutors said.

Dunnavant is being held without bail, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

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