A robbery a month ago at the Liquor Market in Boynton Beach, Fla., helped Ali Arezoumandifar's family convince him it was finally time to retire. The 79-year-old liquor store clerk had chased after a man in a black mask who stole $300 worth of scratch-off lottery tickets on Oct. 27 and was knocked to the ground as the perpetrator sped away. "It shook up the plaza," an officer tells the Palm Beach Post. Arezoumandifar was the previous owner of the store and had stayed on after its sale to help the new owners get started, reports the Sun Sentinel. During his last shift on Sunday, family members gathered to prepare a celebratory dinner. But Arezoumandifar never showed. A customer found the man dead of a single gunshot wound behind the store's counter around 8pm.
A surveillance camera failed to capture the crime, but police say Arezoumandifar was shot while behind the counter. The cash register was found empty. Police aren't saying whether Sunday's crime has any link to the October robbery. In that incident, police traced the stolen lottery tickets to a couple, who face charges over another robbery at a 7-Eleven. The man is in jail, but the woman was questioned and is considered a person of interest, police say. "It's very sad," says a woman who works nearby, adding Arezoumandifar spoke little English but would kiss her hand to say hello. "I'm begging of anybody who knows anything to come forward," Arezoumandifar's daughter tells WPBF. "He didn't deserve the way he died." (Another case of tragic timing, this time involving a wedding.)