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Police: 5-day manhunt ends with arrest of suspect in deadly bodega shooting

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Police say charges have been filed against a man who shot and killed a 34-year-old Bronx bodega worker Friday night in Mott Haven.

Police arrested 33-year-old Leonard Nieves Wednesday night after a five-day manhunt charging him with murder in the second degree. Police say he shot 34-year-old Yahya Almuntser several times in the chest and body.

Police released video of Nieves walking into the bodega on the corner of East 137th St. and Brook Avenue walking with a cane and wearing a ski mask. Police say he walked in and fired several rounds at the employee after a dispute.

Sources told News 12 that the murder may have been drug related, saying a Bronx narcotics team had previously arrested the victim on Thursday, and later released him. They say the next day, Almuntser went back to work and was then shot, possibly in relation to the arrest.  However, the motive is still unclear.

MORE: Reward offered in Valentine's Day slaying of bodega worker

The B&A Gourmet Deli was closed Monday morning as police investigated. A small memorial for Almuntser was set up outside the bodega.

Many residents say they are mourning Almuntser's death and that he was a valuable member of the community. A customer of the store says the victim was expecting a baby boy with his wife.

Police say Nieves was also arrested for manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon.

 

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