The man who found murder victim Farouk Haifa lying in a pool of blood inside Stanley’s Ice Station calls his killer “heartless,” saying he cruelly ended the life of a “good man.”
Antonio Gracia discovered the body of the 52-year-old husband and father behind the counter of the convenience store shortly after opening Monday morning.
"When I saw him, I wished I could just grab him and hug him and bring him back to life. But I couldn't,” Gracia said, through tears. "I ran across the street and I told (a neighbor), 'Please call the cops.'”
Gracia lives steps away from the business in the 2500 block of W. Southcross Boulevard, and had plans to help Haifa, known throughout the south side neighborhood as “Frank,” in the store that day.
"I heard my dog barking and then I heard him calling me, 'Antonio. Antonio.' I said, 'Frank, I'll be there, Frank."
By the time Gracia arrived, though, it was too late.
Someone had entered the store and killed Haifa.
San Antonio police investigators at the scene Monday morning were careful not to release too much information, including how Haifa died or why he might have been killed.
A police report issued Tuesday morning didn’t reveal much more.
However, it did state that another witness reported hearing what sounded like four gunshots.
That witness also provided investigators with a vague description of a man seen leaving the store’s parking lot, the report stated.
A police spokeswoman said Tuesday morning that investigators were still waiting for the results of an autopsy to determine how Haifa died.
Gracia said he realizes now that if he had arrived at the store only moments earlier he, too, might have been killed.
"It's hard for me because I found him and it hurts me a lot," Gracia said. “I said, ‘God, whoever did this didn’t have a heart.”
Gracia, who said he had known Haifa for several years, describes him as a good man, a father and husband.
He said Haifa recently had been talking about retiring soon and allowing his sons to continue running the business.