Family of Antioch Valero employee shot, killed in robbery speaks out

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- The widow and three children of an Antioch Valero gas station employee who was shot and killed Monday night during a robbery say they are devastated and at a loss as to why anyone would kill their loved one.

Mohammad Jawad Ataie's family says he came to the United States from Afghanistan in the late 1990s. He worked at the gas station on East 18th Street and Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch for about five years. His family says he often worked 10 to 12 hour shifts more than five days a week to provide for them.

VIDEO: Ataie family celebrates Father's Day 2017
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The family of Mohammad Jawad Ataie, who was shot and killed during a robbery at an Antioch Valero, provided this video to ABC7 News of their Father's Day celebration earlier this year.

"I can't believe it, I can't believe it," sobbed his widow, Sarah.

His son Tabesh added, "My birthday is on the 12th, I turn 24, and he's not going to be here."

Investigators described what they saw on surveillance video to his daughter Nedah, ""Jumped over the counter, pistol whipped him and then shot him two times in the back," she explained.

Ataie's family says first responders told them he was conscious in the ambulance but died at the hospital.

An Antioch police officer at the 7/11 across the street heard the shooting, ran outside and shot the suspect, who still got away.

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"I just want to see him and ask him why you did it? He destroyed our family's life," said Sarah.

In addition to his wife, Ataie leaves behind his daughter and son who are both in college, and another son in high school, Omaid.

"He worked so hard to try to support his family," said the teenager.

Nedah added, "To whoever did this, I don't know how you have the heart to kill someone so innocent."

The family has set up a GoFundMe Page to help pay for funeral expenses. Click here if you'd like to help.
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