- The Washington Times - Friday, September 17, 2004

Alexandria police yesterday were investigating the slaying of a pizza deliveryman who was fatally shot late Thursday during a “botched robbery” in the Old Town area.

Musharaf H. Shah, 47, of Alexandria, delivered a Pizza Hut pizza near the 200 block of North Fayette Street about 10 p.m., police said. He was at his car when someone tried to rob him, and then he was shot in the chest.

He died at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

“We don’t know if he was robbed or not, but we do believe it was a robbery motive,” police spokeswoman Amy Bertsch said. “It was obviously a botched robbery, since he ended up shot.”

Mr. Shah’s slaying is the city’s first homicide this year; Alexandria had four homicides last year.

Witnesses said Mr. Shah’s attacker or attackers left the area in a black Subaru.

No one has been charged in his killing.

However, police yesterday charged two suspects in the robbery of an Alexandria woman that occurred about 25 minutes after and a mile from where Mr. Shah was shot. The 35-year-old woman was robbed in her home on South Lee Street.

Moments later, officers spotted a black Subaru in Fairfax County. After a chase, the driver and a passenger abandoned the car and ran away. They were caught blocks away and arrested, police said.

Antowaun Lynch, 20, of Fairmount Heights and a second suspect police did not identify were charged with robbery and were being held without bond.

Miss Bertsch said police were investigating a link between the robbery and Mr. Shah’s slaying.

Mr. Shah’s son, Syed, 19, yesterday said his family was grieving and following Islamic tradition for funeral and burial rites.

Syed Shah said he wants his father to be remembered for his courage and for his strength. “Whatever bad happened in the world, he wouldn’t worry about it,” the son said. “He had a big, strong heart.”

Mr. Shah, who moved to the United States from Pakistan with his family, was the father of eight children. He also was a newspaper carrier for The Washington Times.

Art Farber, circulation director for The Times, said Mr. Shah had worked for the newspaper since March and had two home delivery routes in Virginia.

“He was very well thought of around here,” Mr. Farber said.

Anyone with information about the slaying is asked to call Alexandria police at 703/838-4711.

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