Harlem deli worker charged with murder after fatally stabbing man who tried to attack him behind counter

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – KERRY BURKE, MOLLY CRANE-NEWMAN, ESHA RAY, THOMAS TRACY

A Harlem deli clerk was charged with murder Friday after fatally stabbing a man relatives say was a serial shoplifter, sending him running down the street with a knife still stuck in his gut.

The drama began simply enough around 7 a.m. Friday at the A&S Candy Grocery on W. 145th St. near Lenox Ave. with an argument involving two men and the clerk. The men threatened Ahmad Hafeed, a 22-year-old store employee, and then stormed off.

Police said the two men returned to the store around 9 a.m. One of them, a 46-year-old man, had a knife and slashed at Hafeed as he stood behind the counter. Hafeed backed away and grabbed his own knife. He ran from behind the counter to confront the two men, surveillance video shows.

During the struggle, Hafeed, a native of Yemen, stabbed his would-be attacker several times in the midsection before the man broke free and ran from the store — the blade still sticking out of his stomach.

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