AKRON, OH (WOIO) - More than a year after 21-year-old pizza employee Zakareia Husein was murdered, Akron police finally have a break in the case.
Police say they have a suspect in custody on unrelated charges. They say charges are expected Thursday in connection with Husein's death.
A news conference in front of the police station has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m.
Husein, of Springfield Township, was working at New York Style Pizza when he was robbed and shot to death. At the time, pizza shop employees told police the suspect was holding a gun when came in the front doors and demanded money from the register. After Husein handed the suspect an undetermined amount of money, the suspect fired a shot and fled, hitting Husein in the upper torso.
At the time, Akron police had very little to go on for a description, but surveillance footage did provide some clues.
Zak's brother Ammar is overwhelmed to hear his family will finally have answers after all of this time.
"This is just great, just great. The best news I've received in a long time," he said.
For the past 19 months, he has always been looking over his shoulder.
"I don't have to think twice -- did I walk by this person today? Is this person, maybe I ran into a gas station, I don't even know," Ammar said.
Cleveland 19 asked him what it has been like to wait so long for answers.
"It's horrible, it's horrible. I don't wish the roller coaster ride, the feelings and emotions on my own worst enemy," he said.
Police said in the past they believed the shooter is one of two suspects behind violent robberies at two Family Dollar stores.
Since his brother died, Ammar has run the shop. He added more security cameras, better outdoor lighting, and a buzzer for the front door at night. Right now that's the last thing he's thinking about, however.
"I can finally go to the grave and tell him that mom feels a lot better, that dad's not as angry no more," he said.
Ammar says he knows what his brother would want them to do when they find out who is responsible.
"Let's say he was to survive that incident, I guarantee he'd be the first one to tell that person, whoever it is that he forgives them," he said.
University of Akron students have organized fundraisers for "Stop Hunger Now" in Zak's name since he died. Ammar says they have provided 90,000 meals for children in need.