The family of a convenience store clerk who was gunned down last weekend is pleading for help finding the killer.
58-year-old James Keultjes died Sunday – one day after he was shot at the gas station where he worked at 4501 Lyndale Ave. North.
Minneapolis police say a 22-year-old, Robert Leroy Banker, is the one who pulled the trigger and he is still somewhere in the Metro area.
On Thursday, Keultjes’ daughter, Shannan Cormany, described her father as someone who “whistled through life.”
“That was kind of his signature,” she said. “No matter where he was, all you had to do was listen for the whistle.”
“That was my dad,” said Keultjes’ son Chad. “And he’s gone now.”
Saturday, that easy-going man was shot in the head at point-blank range.
The suspect, Banker, was identified in a photo lineup, according to police. Investigators say he walked into the gas station wearing a long trench coat and pulled out a handgun.
Banker is charged with first-degree murder in Keultjes’ death, and attempted first-degree murder for allegedly shooting another employee, Saleh Al Bubbeiry, from just a foot and a half away.
Police say Banker is dangerous.
“If you should come across Mr. Banker, do not try to apprehend him yourself,” said Lt. Lee Edwards.
If there was any comfort for Keultjes’ family, it was knowing that their father’s heart had been donated to a mystery recipient.
“It does give us comfort,” Chad Keultjes said. “And I want his heart to beat for 20 more years. The 20 years we didn’t get.”
Chad also said he and his sister hoped, one day, to meet the person who now has their father’s heart.
The other shooting victim, Saleh Al Bubbeiry, was listed in serious condition at North Memorial Hospital Saturday night.
Police say Al Bubbeiry was shot in each shoulder and is paralyzed from the chest down.
By Scott Goldberg
, KARE 11 News
(Copyright 2004 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)