Leesburg robbery suspect identified, arrest warrant issued for murder

Police have identified and secured an arrest warrant for the man accused of shooting and killing a convenience store clerk during an armed robbery last week, the Leesburg Police Department said in an update on Monday morning. 

Alex Lopez, 25, of Wildwood, is wanted for the murder of 51-year-old Raied Shihadeh, who was shot and killed while working at the register of M&M Food Mart. Lopez is also accused of robbing the store, according to police. 

An arrest is out for the arrest of Alex Lopez, according to the Leesburg Police Department. He's wanted for murder, among other charges. (Photo: Leesburg Police Department)

Lopez faces multiple charges once apprehended, including murder, armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and use of a firearm during a felony. Police have tried to locate Lopez but are now working with other agencies to locate and arrest him. 

"We are confident we will find him," said Sergeant Shannon Walsh of the Leesburg Police Department.

Authorities described the incident as "truly a senseless act."

Surveillance video shows the suspect walking into the convenience store and allegedly shooting the clerk several times before hopping over the counter and eventually leaving the store. 

Shihadeh was on a FaceTime call with his wife at the time of the armed robbery. 

"All of a sudden, I saw panic on his face. I heard him scream, ‘No!’. I started immediately screaming," Monique Shihadeh told FOX 35. 

It was also their youngest daughter's 16th birthday.

Monique Shihadeh said her family wants her husband to be remembered as a loving husband and devoted father. Justice is the only thing that can help ease her pain right now, she added. 

"We want our family back. I want my husband back. That can't be given to me, but the biggest reward that could be given to me is catching the person that took him from us," she said.

Court records reveal Lopez has open cases in Sumter County. In November, he was arrested twice for grand theft of a vehicle, burglary, and battery. He was released from jail in February. Additionally, Lopez has prior felony convictions for burglary and grand theft in Lake County since 2020.

"I will never, ever understand it. And I will never, ever forgive who did this to him," said Monique Shihadeh, the victim's wife, speaking with Fox 35 the day after the murder.

The Shihadeh family continues to seek prayers and hope for Lopez's swift capture. They urge anyone with information to come forward.

"If you see something, if you know who it was, please. I'm begging for the sake of my children, for the sake of his family, please say something," a family member pleaded.

Crimeline accepts tips in this case, offering a reward of at least $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. The hotline number is 800-423-TIPS (8477). Police consider Lopez armed and dangerous and advise anyone who sees him to contact law enforcement immediately.