Authorities have identified the store clerk who was brutally murdered in a Spotsylvania County gas station Saturday morning after a man they considered a “person of interest” was arrested in Fredericksburg.
50-year-old David Junior Washington was taken into custody for questioning at the Dunning Mills apartments in Fredericksburg without incident after investigation by detectives and deputies led to his identification. He was subsequently charged with 1st degree murder in the death of 54-year-old Saleh Yousef Abukhait along with robbery and grand larceny.
Washington is being held without bond at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.
Deputies with the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office said Washington walked into the Sunoco in the 5300 block of Jefferson Davis Highway at 1:35 a.m. After several minutes of conversation, Washington picked up a 2 X 2 piece of wood that he brought into the store and brutally attacked Abukhait, beating him to death. He then took an undetermined amount of cash from the register and left the business.
“I can tell you in the 40 years in this business, it’s one of the most brutal and violent attacks I’ve ever seen,” Capt. Jeff Pearce said. “It’s gut-wrenching to see someone who’s just doing his job to get attacked this way.”
Several minutes later, a patron entered the store and discovered Abukhait lying on the floor. Deputies and rescue personnel were summoned to the scene, where medical personnel declared Abukhait deceased.
Friends described the murdered store clerk as a hardworking father.
“You would see him around and he was a very nice, friendly guy,” said Gaberiel Dit.
Deputies said their investigation continues.
The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with any information to contact them at 540-582-5822 or Crime Solvers at 1-800-928-5822.