Deli owner on W. 47th is shot dead

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that a Cleveland store owner was gunned down Monday night in what police believe was a robbery at Tony's Deli on West 47th Street. Police told reporters that Antonios "Tony" Elbkessini, 48, of Cleveland, appeared to have been shot inside the small corner store but died outside on the sidewalk.

From the story:

    Neighbors saw two men running west from the store on Fenwick Avenue toward train tracks just after the shooting. Police picked up two men and brought them back to the scene for questioning.

    Neighbors heard the shots about 8:15 p.m., just before the store's usual 8:30 closing time. Police received a telephone call at 8:16 that a man was lying on the sidewalk bleeding from the ear.

    Elbkessini had owned the store since 1994.

    Shocked neighbors gathered around the store Monday.

    "He was a very giving man," said Michele Russell, 36. "He would do anything for anybody."

    People called Tony's the "Turquoise Store" because of its blue-green color. It sits in a modest neighborhood surrounded by narrow frame houses just south of Interstate 90. In December, a customer and a clerk died in a robbery at a Tony's Deli on Scranton Road.
    Cleveland Councilman Michael Zone left a City Council meeting Monday and rushed to the store when he heard of the killing. Zone said he had been in the store about a dozen times and was saddened by the news.

    "He was very friendly to the kids and residents of this community," Zone said. "It is going to be a high loss."

Police Commander Edward Tomba is quoted as saying "it's definitely a robbery gone bad. It doesn't look like anything was taken."

Related Story:
Robbers murder clerk, chase down & kill fleeing witness

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