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Police make arrest pawn shop owner death

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Police have arrested a suspect in the death of a Lamar Avenue pawn shop owner.

30 year old Charles Griffen was booked last night and charged with first degree murder. He's due in court on Monday, Dec. 23rd.

MPD released surveillance video Thursday. It showed a black male entered Lamar Jewelry and Pawn and shot the victim, Virak Hean, 56, during a robbery. The homicide suspect left the pawn shop in a red four-door vehicle.

MORE: Man found dead inside Lamar Avenue pawn shop

Investigators said a customer tried to enter the pawn shop at Lamar Avenue and Airways Boulevard Wednesday morning and saw Hean's body on the floor of the store. MPD said Hean suffered a fatal gunshot wound and was pronounced dead on the scene by Memphis Fire Department paramedics.

The next day, flowers and messages, instead of crime tape, surrounded the store. The store's shoppers say this honest, generous man did not deserve to be killed.

"He was just a generous person, very generous," said Delois Carson, who recently bought a ring from Hean, "And he always smiled. If he was having a bad day, no one ever knew it."

She said seeing the family grieving on the scene tore at her heart as well.

"To see the family, I broke down with them because he was a great and most of all honest, that I do believe about him within my heart," said Carson, "I been there at times and seen people come in and say they were hungry; he didn't give them money but he would buy them food."

Airways Flea Market is around the corner from the pawn shop. The owners said they locked their doors when they hear about the homicide.

One of the owners, Trena Stewart said events like Wednesday's homicide are the reason they don't sell expensive items.

"We sell a lot of old things like flea markets would have," Trena Stewart said. "We don't sell a lot of new items like jewelry because we know that's one of the things they be targeted for."

Stewart said it's crimes like at Lamar Jewelry and Pawn that make her and her husband keep the store door locked whenever they're not near it.

"You can't target everybody, but sometimes you can get a little feeling when you see the people come to the door and you know not to let that person inside," said Stewart, "
"We hate it, but then we know that's the way it is with businesses now."

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FOX13 News reporter Sarah Bleau contributed to his report.

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