Ali Elbanna, a 60-year-old Texas business owner, was fatally shot in the parking lot of a Dallas Costco Tuesday night, police announced.
Authorities said they responded to a report of shots fired outside the store just before 7 p.m. Elbanna was escorted to a local hospital where he died from his injuries, according to local reports.
Police said they’ve arrested four teens in connection with the shooting: 19-year-old Jacoby Bryce Tatum, 17-year-olds James Levels and Janiya Lashay Miller, and another juvenile whose identity was not released on account of his young age.
Cops: Ali Elbanna Gunned Down at Dallas Costco
Investigators said that Ali Elbanna had just left the Costco Business Center at 8282 Park Lane in northeast Dallas and was putting items in his Chevy Suburban when the four teens pulled up in a pickup truck.
Police believe the encounter was a botched robbery. They told reporters the teens “demanded property” from the 60-year-old. It’s not clear if Elbanna complied with the alleged robbers, who police said shot the business owner once before fleeing the scene.
A Dallas Fire-Rescue team rushed Elbanna to a nearby hospital, where he later died, reports indicate.
Using witness descriptions and video from a surveillance camera, police said they tracked the group’s vehicle to an unnamed apartment complex and took the four teens into custody that night.
Teens Accused of Other Robberies
Authorities said the four were suspects in a series of robberies Tuesday, including the theft of the black pickup truck allegedly used in the killing of Ali Elbanna, and the stealing of two cell phones.
Police said two of the four teens confessed to the robberies and admitted involvement in Elbanna’s shooting after being taken into custody.
Janiya Lashay Miller, 17, reportedly told police that she had driven the getaway car after Elbanna was shot. Investigators also said they found stolen cell phones in her possession.
James Levels, also 17, reportedly confessed to owning the gun used in the 60-year-old’s killing, and said he and the other teens were responsible for two more robberies that night. Authorities also alleged they found the wallet of the stolen truck’s owner in Levels’ pocket.
Police said that 19-year-old Jacoby Bryce Tatum did not admit involvement in any of the group’s alleged crimes. But Miller and Levels named Tatum as an accomplice in the robberies and the shooting, police said.
The unnamed juvenile was also taken into custody at the apartment complex, and authorities did not say whether he had admitted to any of the alleged robberies. Police told Fox 4 they believe the unnamed teen was the one who fired at Elbanna.
Reports indicate that all four teens have been charged with capital murder. The two 17-year-olds and the 19-year-old are each being held on $500,000 bond. Police said they are still investigating the string of robberies that led to Elbanna’s death.
According to the Dallas News, suspects under the age of 17 are usually tried as juveniles in Texas, though a juvenile court judge may choose to try a suspect as an adult, if they are 14 or older.
Family in Mourning
Ali Elbanna, reports indicate, was a resident of nearby Arlington, where he owned a wholesaling business and was the father of “multiple children.”
A spokesperson for Elbanna’s loved ones said the family wants privacy as they process their loss. On Facebook, one member of the family asked friends for prayers, and said that the 60-year-old’s funeral is scheduled for Friday.