Grace Deli 701 H St. in NE DC: PHOTO/Jason Smith FOX 5
The owner of a popular neighborhood deli in Northeast D.C. was found dead inside her store Thursday morning.
June Lim was found by store employees behind the counter dead inside the Grace Deli along the H Street corridor. Police say she was shot once in the neck.
Police spent the day dusting for fingerprints and looking for clues. They believe the motive was robbery.
Police say there were no signs of forced entry. They don't know if there was one assailant or more. There is a lot of security inside, with bulletproof enclosures around the counter. Area merchants say she had surveillance cameras, but police are not saying whether the murder was captured on video.
Lt. Robert Alder of D.C. Police said police are attempting to discover what was missing from the store.
People from the community spoke highly of Lim. Some called her Grace, like the name of the deli.
On any given day, it was Lim's custom to go to the deli by herself to open up around 5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.
Lim's husband, Hoshin, 66, said he told his wife if anyone ever tried to rob her, she should just give them the money.
"Don't look at them, just give it to them," he said.
One of her employees sitting on the sidewalk, absolutely distraught at the news. Selemani Tanja said she was like a mother to him.
"Me and my wife and my daughter, she's always there for us," said Tanja. "Anything we asked, she helped us. Not only a paycheck – food. [She said] ‘Anything you want, Selemani, take it."'
Relatives came to the scene and customers were in absolute shock.
"It's particularly hard for myself and my wife because we're expecting our first grandchild for them this year," said Peter Lim, the son of the victim. "She will miss the birth of her first grandchild."
"We're planning a vigil from 12 [p.m.] to 2 [p.m. Friday] right in front of the store," said Sharon Campbell, a customer of the deli. "She'd give you credit. They had no reason to take her life. That was just mean."
Her son, Peter, said she would have turned 65 years old on July 7.
"She worked hard. She didn't deserve to die like this," he said.
According to her son, she was planning to retire next year.