BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
An Indian convenience store clerk, Babu Augustine, was shot to death at the Matt’s Food Mart where he worked, located on 400 block of North Broad Street in Monroe, a little after quarter past twelve on Thursday, October 23, 2008. He was 56 and hailed from Adoor city in Kerala.
As per Walton Tribune, the police have arrested and charged Nicholas Laron Crawford 22, of 1120 Fairview Drive, Monroe for the murder. Crawford remains in Walton County Jail and has been charged with felony murder, armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Additional charges are pending.
According to sources, an African American male dressed in black allegedly entered the store with a pistol in his hand while Babu Augustine was re-stocking. Babu turned around when he heard a noise to find a gun pointed at him. It is said that the two got into a verbal altercation and Babu was shot one time, Crawford then went to the cash counter and on his way back shot Babu two more times. Babu was later admitted to Walton Regional Medical Center and eventually pronounced dead. Monroe Police Department identified Crawford as the suspect and brought him in for questioning. He eventually confessed to the crime and was arrested.
“Babu was one of the most spiritual and courageous people I knew”, Mathew Jacob, a friend of Babu Augustine told this reporter. Babu belonged to the Saint Alphonsa Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Atlanta and his Parish Priest Fr. Kurian Thomas fondly talked about how much Babu had done in his short life span. He also said that the courage that Babu displayed may have caused his death, but he died knowing he was doing the right thing. Babu’s brother who lives in NY arrived in Atlanta for his funeral. Babu also has two sisters.
Babu Augustine, according to Mathew came to the US about three years ago to create a better life for his family. An American dream shattered, met with tragedy no one anticipated. Sometimes, “Man proposes, God disposes,” as Fr. Kurian Thomas put it.