Fort Worth

Capital murder suspect identified in Fort Worth store clerk killing

Clerk was obeying orders when shot to death

Police are still looking for suspect.
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Police are still looking for suspect.

Police on Tuesday identified a 20-year-old Fort Worth man as a capital murder suspect in the weekend killing of a store clerk during a holdup.

Authorities identified the suspect as Christian Silva, who is considered armed and dangerous.

Police said he also could be responsible for other robberies.

Tarrant County criminal court records indicate three charges have been filed against Silva this year in Fort Worth: assault bodily injury family member, a terroristic threat of a family member and possession of a controlled substance. Trials are pending in those cases.

Silva is accused of fatally shooting Pronto Food Mart clerk Jimmy Khela, 38, of Euless on Saturday afternoon.

“He was such a hard worker,” said Father Ghobrial Samaan, a priest at St. Abanoub Coptic Orthodox Church in Euless. Khela and his family were members of the Euless church. “That morning, he had baked the holy bread for our service and then went to work.”

Detectives said that at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the gunman walked in the store in the 800 block of East Long Avenue and began making demands.

No other customers were in the store — just Khela and a female employee, who reportedly crawled through the drive-through window to escape.

At some point, the gunman opened fire on Khela. Residents said they heard as many as five shots.

After the shooting, the gunman ran out of the store.

When officers arrived, Khela was on the floor. He was pronounced dead at 4:45 p.m. Saturday, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s website.

A store video released by police Monday morning shows a masked gunman jumping over a counter and holding a handgun on Khela.

Khela appears to be holding a cellphone as the robber comes over the counter and confronts him. The clerk backs up and continues moving away from the robber, the short video taken from store surveillance cameras shows.

Detectives have said that Khela was cooperating at all times and following the gunman’s demands.

“He never said a bad word to anyone,” owner Madha Atallah told the Star-Telegram on Sunday, fighting back tears. Khela had worked for Atallah for two years. “He helped everyone.”

Khela had learned to speak Spanish to better communicate with his customers in the Diamond Hill.

Khela was married with two young children, Father Samaan said Tuesday.

“He was working two jobs to provide a good life for his family,” Father Samaan said. “He was dedicated to them and his church.”

This report contains information from Star-Telegram archives.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763, @mingoramirezjr

To help the Jimmy Khela family

Friends and family members are asking for money to help establish a trust fund for Jimmy Khela’s children and to support the family.

As of Tuesday, almost $50,000 had been raised for the family.

Source: Friends and family members of Jimmy Khela