Two customers found Isaac Kadare, of Midwood, lying unconscious behind cardboard boxes with a metal tray on his head inside 1877 86th St., near 19th Avenue, shortly around 8:30 p.m., police said.
He had sustained head trauma, and emergency medical workers pronounced him dead at the scene, police said. The Medical Examiner's office later ruled the death a homicide, adding that the victim was shot in the head and stabbed in the neck.
Friends, family and neighbors remembered Kadare Friday outside the Magen David Synagogue at 2017 67th St. near 20th Ave.
"He was the nicest person in the world— very kind, very generous, very considerate," said long-time friend Esther Yadid, 49.
"He was very caring and giving and great to everyone," said Moshe Zafafran "He was always looking to give to charity and the synagogue."
NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Kadare, who normally closes the store at 8 p.m., had wounds to his temple and three marks under his chin. Nothing was taken from the store, which was open at the time, Kelly said.
"Obviously it's suspicious, to say the least," Kelly said. A motive for the murder was not immediately clear.
Kadare, an Egyptian immigrant and Orthodox Jew, had a wife and four children, according to the office of Councilman David Greenfield, who represents Midwood.
Greenfield said Friday that he was joining with the Sephardic Community Federation to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone involved in the murder.
“I am deeply saddened that such a horrific act took place in our community, as there is no place for this type of violence in our society," Greenfield said in a statement.
"We must stand together as a community and make sure the perpetrator is held accountable and taken off our streets as soon as possible."