BROOKLYN — A Bushwick bodega owner shot to death in his own store last week was embroiled in a bloody international family feud in which he allegedly fled to the U.S. after killing his brother, who had been on trial for murdering the shopkeeper's daughter, sources said.
Swadh Maged, 52, who co-owned the bodega at Central Avenue and Madison Street where he was killed last Thursday, was suspected of shooting his brother on property they shared in their native Yemen before fleeing to the U.S. in June 2012, sources said.
Maged's brother had been arrested and charged with the murder of Maged's daughter, but was cleared after a trial, sources said.
Maged and his brother continued to live on the same property with their two extended families, until they got into a gunfight at the home in June, when Maged shot the brother to death, sources said.
Maged fled to the United States where he bought a share of a bodega and began working 18-hour shifts there as an overnight clerk, sources and friends said.
Police said Maged had just arrived at work about 6:50 a.m. on April 17 when a man carrying a gun covered by a black plastic bag followed him into the bodega and shot him in the chest and left arm before speeding away in a waiting van, police and friends said.
The shooter then boarded an Emirates airlines flight from JFK airport to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, sources said. It was not immediately clear how much time elapsed between the shooting and the suspect's escape.
Maged was taken to Kings County Hospital and pronounced dead, the NYPD said.
Friends who had come to know Maged since his arrival in 2012 said they couldn't believe his bloody past. They said they knew him as as a friendly paternal figure who loved to share meals with friends.
"Everybody loved him in the neighborhood. Everybody called him 'pops' out of respect," said friend and countryman Sahmi Thabet, 25. "It's shocking."
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).