NJ man charged with felony murder: Camden bodega owner shot days before his wedding
CAMDEN — A 31-year-old man is charged with felony murder for killing the owner of a bodega just days before the victim's wedding, officials said.
Luis Morales, 40, was gunned down Tuesday morning at his shop at the intersection of Louis Street and Kaighn Avenue, according to Camden County Prosecutor Grace MacAulay.
MacAulay said that shortly before 11 a.m., the shooter, Yaphet Norman, 31, entered Fortuna Mini Market. Around that time, police received several 911 calls for a report of a robbery at the bodega.
When they got there, cops found Morales inside. He had been shot several times, according to MacAulay.
Norman was arrested Wednesday afternoon and charged with felony murder. He is currently being held at Camden County Correctional Facility.
CBS 3 Philly reported that Morales owned his bodega for over a decade. His sister reportedly told the outlet that the father of four had a 10-year-old son, a 10-month-old son, and in Puerto Rico had two daughters.
NBC 10 Philadelphia reported that Morales was just days away from marrying his fiancée.
One relative called the slain father a humble man who would help anyone, NBC 10 reported.
"It was a loss of a man who if he had to take food out of his mouth to give it to you, he would do it," Cándido Serrano said.
Court records show Norman pleaded guilty to a third-degree unarmed burglary charge for a July 2020 incident. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and received three years' probation.
Less recently, Norman pleaded guilty to a 2009 third-degree charge of receiving stolen property and was sentenced to one year of probation.