Chong Wan Yim, who emigrated from South Korea, held a variety of jobs in Baltimore — from running his own restaurant to starting his own delivery business just months ago.
"I think he was a really hard worker. He was trying to make an honest living," said his friend, Jay Park. "There are no words to say about what happened. We're are realizing how vulnerable we are, even in the daytime."
While making a stop in an unmarked box truck about 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Erdman Shopping Center in Belair-Edison, the 55-year-old was shot in the chest. He died at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
Park, also 55, who is the chairman for the Korean-American Grocers & Licensed Beverage Association, said he knew Yim for more than 20 years and that Yim had recently started his own business. "He's been here so long, he had many friends with stores when he began his own business delivering soft drinks and bottled water."
Members of the association planned to hold a meeting Wednesday night at their headquarters on West North Avenue with representatives from the city and Police Department to discuss safety. "We are really shocked that this happened," Park said.
The association is also planning a vigil for 7 p.m. July 7 at the shopping center in the 3900 block of Erdman Ave. A funeral has been scheduled Friday at the Howell Funeral Home in Jessup, Park said.
Park said Yim lived alone in the city but has two adult daughters and a brother in the area.
"I'm just sorry. I went to the hospital, I saw the two daughters," he said. "It's just so sad."
Initially, police said they were investigating robbery as a possible motive, but they did not release any additional details Wednesday on the killing.
Yim's death is one of several recent killings that pushed the number of city homicides to 100 by Wednesday evening.
Police identified a woman who was found stabbed to death Monday inside a Southeast Baltimore home as 22-year-old Brittany Devone.
Police have charged a man, Jose Villatoro, with Devone's killing after his roommate called police and officers saw Villatoro trying to escape through a window of their home in the 3200 block of Leverton Ave. But it took more than a day to discern Devone's identity.
According to court records, Devone had a troubled past. She was convicted in February of attempted armed robbery and received eight years in prison, but seven years and six months of that sentence were suspended. She was back on the streets on June 3, when she was arrested for prostitution.
Police have not said why Devone was at Villatoro's home or released a motive for the crime. It appears to be Villatoro's first arrest in Maryland.
Police also identified the man fatally shot June 17 in the 600 block of Ashburton St. as Troy Fennell, 39, whose last known address was in the 2900 block of Southland Ave. That case remains open.
Fennell had recently been handed a conviction by the city courts but served just a short time. In March, he pleaded guilty to drug distribution charges and got 12 years in prison, but 11 years, 11 months and 29 days were suspended.