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Port St. Lucie father gunned down at Central Florida store, remembered by wife as 'bigger than life'

Raied Shihadeh leaves behind wife, 5 children
Posted at 6:21 PM, Jun 04, 2024

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The search continues for the suspect who police said shot and killed a 51-year-old Port St. Lucie father who was working at his Central Florida convenience store.

The shooting happened Thursday night while the victim, Raied Shihadeh, was on the phone with his wife, Monique.

The family lives in Port St. Lucie and Raied commuted between their home and the store located in Leesburg.

"He put his family first in everything he did, and I want to make sure people don't forget who he was as a father, as a husband," Monique Shihadeh said.

The couple's 16-year-old daughter, Manar, spoke with WPTV reporter Stephanie Susskind about the man who they describe as larger than life. They are still in disbelief that he's gone.

"The kids are struggling. They miss their dad. He was an important part of their life. I miss my husband," Monique Shihadeh said.

"For me, it still feels like I'm just waiting for him to come home from work, I'm still in denial about it," Manar said.

Manar (left) and Monique Shihadeh explain the grief they are feeling after the death of their loved one.
Manar (left) and Monique Shihadeh explain the grief they are feeling after the death of their loved one.

Raied Shihadeh was a loving husband and father of five children, ages 10 to 20. He lived his adult life between West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie. He worked at the Leesburg convenience store for less than a year.

Monique said her husband put a lot of work and effort into the store and becoming a part of the local community. She said he was very proud and very excited about the progress there.

Leesburg police said a gunman came in and shot him, allegedly stealing less than $100 from the register Thursday night.

They are now searching with state, local and federal law enforcement partners to find the suspect, Alex Lopez of Wildwood, 25, and take him into custody. Police said he should be considered armed and dangerous.

"For this less than a human being to take him from his family the way he did," Monique began, "I'm so angry, I'm so angry that I want this person to be brought to justice. I want the world to know, I want everyone to know we won't stop until he's caught. I text my husband multiple times a day, and I know I'm not going to get a response but it's ... I miss that communication. I miss that love. He was my protector in life. He took care of us. He took care of his family."

But they are determined to share Raied's legacy and make sure no other family has to go through the pain they are now living every day.

"I want to be his protector in death," Monique Shihadeh said. "I want to make sure that everyone knows that we are angry. We are upset, and we will not stop until we get justice for him."

For now, they will take comfort in the memories while mourning the future they won't get to share.

"We wanted to see our grandkids and watch our kids graduate from college, and there's so much he's going to miss, and it's not fair," she said.