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Storeowner kills armed robber

Originally ran here as:
"Two shot to death in Covington"
by Jim Hannah and William A. Weathers
The Cincinnati Enquirer
November 13, 2001

COVINGTON, OHIO — Until Monday, there had been one homicide in Covington in 2001. Then came two in one day.

A convenience store worker shot a would-be robber to death in an exchange of gunfire Monday night, hours after a Cincinnati man was charged with fatally shooting a man in the face at the Jacob Price apartments.

The man charged with murder in connection with the midday shooting at Jacob Price tried to elude police by swimming down the Licking River.

It didn't work. After a car chase through Covington and Newport, officers pulled Dante English, 21, of Cincinnati from the Newport side of the Licking River and charged him with murder. He was being held at the Kenton County Jail Monday night. Bail had not been set.

About 7:30 p.m., a man police identified as Perry Pinkelton, 36, of Elsmere, entered the Deli Mart Express at 1131 Lee St., displayed a handgun and demanded money from the clerk, according to Covington Police Capt. Charles Gurren.

A second employee in the store was armed with a handgun, police said, and confronted the intruder. The robber fired three shots at the second employee but missed. The armed employee returned fire and shot the robber numerous times, police said. Neither employee was injured.

Mr. Pinkelton died at St. Elizabeth Medical Center North.

Police did not identify the store employees. No charges have been filed but the case remains under investigation.

A neighbor, Mike Daniels, 44, said there have been previous robberies since new owners took over about a year ago.

"Two weeks ago, someone put a gun in his face and robbed him," Mr. Daniels said of the owner, whose name he did not know.

In the first homicide, the chase followed a shooting at 2:54 p.m. outside of apartments 36 and 37 on 11th Street which sent Julian Hicks, 25, of Woolum Lane in Newport to University Hospital, where he later died. Police said Mr. Hicks was shot in the face.

The two shootings happened about seven blocks apart.

Monday's fatal shootings are the second and third homicides in Covington this year, said police spokesman Sgt. Teal Nally. Blas Diaz Carrasco, 31, was beaten to death in his Latonia apartment in September.

Covington police investigated three homicides last year, according to their annual report, and seven deaths from suicides or accidental means.

Monday's Jacob Price shooting was reported by Covington Police Spc. Chris Twehues. He was working at a nearby police substation when he heard gunshots. Spc. Twehues ran toward the noise and saw a man with a gun leaving the area of the shooting.

Spc. Twehues chased him to Prospect Street, where the man jumped into a maroon car. The man drove the car the wrong way down Prospect Street before crossing the 12th Street bridge to Newport.

That's when Newport police joined the chase. The man drove to the 200 block of Central Street, where the road dead-ends at a floodwall. The man then scaled the floodwall and waded into the Licking.

Crowds gathered around the scene of the shooting on 11th Street as more officers combed the lawn for a bullet or casings. Lt. Nally wouldn't say what the motive of the shooting was, but said there was a heated argument before the shooting.


Another Report of the Self-Defense Shooting:

Originally ran here as:
"Store Employee Won't Be Charged In Robbery Suspect's Shooting"
CinciNow/WCPO
Reported by: Tom McKee
Web produced by: Liz Foreman
November 13, 2001, 7:11:14 PM

COVINGTON, OHIO — Covington Police said they don't plan to charge the merchant who killed a man during a gun battle Monday night.

Police said Khader Sbeih was licensed to carry the weapon and was just defending himself after being the victim of two crimes in the past two weeks.

Sbeih bought the Deli Mart Express, at the corner of 12th and Lee streets in Covington, a year ago and ran it with his nephew, Basem.

Even though the Sbiehs are of middle eastern descent, there were no problems until the past few weeks.

Police said Perry Pinkelton of Elsmere came into the store around 7:30 p.m., showed a gun and demanded money from Basem. His uncle, Khader was in a back room and pulled his own weapon.

"He confronted the suspect who turned around, noticed him and fired three shots at him. The clerk was not hit. The clerk returned fire striking the suspect several times and the suspect died at the scene," said Sgt. Neal Tally of the Covington Police.

Nine shots were exchanged during the gun battle.

Deliverymen tried to bring goods to the store today, but it was tightly locked. A bullet hole was visible on an outside wall.

Inside, a mirror that covered a security camera, was shattered.

Even though the owners were of middle eastern descent, that didn't seem to bother the neighbors.

"I came down here just to check on them after the World Trade Center. That's the first thing I did come down here to see if they were all right to make sure they weren't being hassled," said Mark Rohe of Covington.

There has been recent trouble at the Deli Mart.

The store was robbed two weeks ago, and a glass window was broken out after the owner had a run-in with three neighborhood teenagers.

Then there was Monday night's shooting.

Despite the volume of crimes, police are not calling any of the incidents hate crimes.

"I think this was just a suspect trying to make a quick buck. As a matter of fact, he was a suspect in a couple of other robberies that are being worked at this time," police explained.

Not much is known about the suspect in the most recent crime, Perry Pinkelton. He lived on Henry Street in Elsmere, but police there said he didn't have any prior record as far as they knew.

There have been a half-dozen robberies at convenience stores in Covington the past several months. That concerns both merchants and residents alike. Police said they'll step up patrols as resources permit.


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