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Customers mourn slain LB liquor store clerk

January 24, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Long Beach detectives are searching for two suspects who murdered a beloved liquor store clerk Saturday night during a botched robbery.Investigators said Sor Phouma, 53, was fatally shot in the head about 8 p.m. while he was working at P&B Liquor Jr. Market at 1953 4th St.

Phouma had worked at the liquor store for about 15 years, the store's owner said.

Residents in the neighborhood said they can't believe such a tragedy happened to him.

"It's a shame that we lost such a good person like this in the community," said Ronald Gillion, a customer who knew Phouma. "I used to come here all the time and buy my Lotto Scratchers. I used to look at him like a good luck charm because every time he gave me the results, I would win something."

"I'm really upset about it," said Linda Peavy, who lives just a few blocks away. "I'm not surprised it happened."

"It makes me feel bad to have this happen," said one customer, who only identified himself as Larry. "This is a job. Nobody should get killed on the job like this."

Detectives are now looking through surveillance video to see exactly what transpired.

Anyone with information is asked to call authorities at (800) 222-8477.