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Family of corner store shooting victim speaks out about graphic Facebook video

The victim has been identified as 62-year-old Tawfaik Alsheari.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — For the last 36 hours, Melissa Alsheari has had to relieve the worst moments of her life over and over again.

“I can't think straight to know that it's out there for people to see, and they're sharing it,” she said. “I don't understand how they can put it on Facebook and be OK with themselves. Like you're seeing a man get executed basically.”

Alsheari found out about her ex-husband Tawfaik Alsheari’s death like everyone else did — after thousands of users posted, liked, and re-shared surveillance footage of her ex-husband's murder

Alsheari was shot by 25-year-old Abdul Hussein while at work at Sears Food Enterprise on Broadway near Sears Street. Buffalo Police responded to the scene at approximately 3:30 p.m. Tuesday and found Alsheari dead in the store.

“I don't know anything else to do,” she said. “I've called everybody. I called homicide detectives, the police department. I'm going to people that are posting these videos and asking them to take them down.”

Facebook placed the video behind a sensitive content warning Wednesday after 2 On Your Side contacted the social media giant. They allowed it to remain on the platform because, according to Facebook, it violates none of their standards. 

Facebook told 2 On Your Side that the social media platform only "removes videos and photos that show the violent death of someone when a family member requests its removal."

Alsheari is frantically trying to make that happen before the potentially traumatizing posts appear on her 15-year-old twin daughters' feeds.

“I'm trying to find the right words and the right way to tell them without traumatizing them,” she said. “I don't want them to see their dad being murdered. No kid should ever have to go through that.”

Alsheari says even if she is able to get it taken down, it doesn’t take away the unforgettable images seared into the memory of thousands. 

“That's all people are going to remember or know of him, is that he was a person that got shot in the head in this corner store by his co-worker, not that he was a good father, or a good person who had a kind heart and would do anything for about anybody,” Alsheari said.

Hussein was arraigned on a murder charge Wednesday and is scheduled to return to court Monday for a felony hearing. He is facing a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

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