Western New Jersey

Gas station attendant dies following robbery, shooting

Phillipsburg gas station shooting now a homicide

PHILLIPSBURG, N.J. - A gas station attendant shot during a robbery has now died, and one business owner said the case has the Phillipsburg community shaken to the core.

Kismathdas Kasam worked at the BP station on Main Street, and neighbors said he was a very friendly man.

According to the owner of the gas station, Kasam's wife is staying with other relatives, and everyone is hoping police catch the people responsible.

Hasan Jafar owns the National Fuel gas station across the street from Kasam's apartment on Main Street, which is down the street from the BP where Kasam was killed.

Jafar said Kasam came into the store for coffee and sometimes just to talk.

"If he ever had a problem like with his computer or getting online or anything, we always helped him and assisted him regardless of how busy I was here," said Jafar.  "I'd always make time for him."

On January 5, just after midnight, police said Kasam was working at the BP station in the 700 block of Main Street, in Phillipsburg, N.J. He was shot during a robbery attempt.

"A robbery like this gone wrong which turns now into a homicide, it startles the whole town." added Jafar. "The community is shaken to the core."

The shaken community is also thinking of ways to protect themselves.

Jafar said he worries about his employees who work at the station, especially his mother, so he has alarms, a panic button to inform police, and other means of protection.

"We stocked up on firearms and stuff, but that is more like a defensive deterrent,"said Jafar. "We're not going around looking for trouble or anything, but we are ready just in case something might go wrong."

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