Arrest made in 2012 cold case murder at Milwaukee store

Donald Moore

A cold case that FOX6 News featured in 2020 has been solved -- thanks, in part, to viewer tips submitted to Milwaukee police.

Donald Moore, 32, of Milwaukee has been charged in the death of beloved convenience store owner Fawzi "Fred" Abu-Hamdan.

Abu-Hamdan was shot and killed near 32nd and Brown on Milwaukee's north side in 2012. At the time, detectives thought it may have been a robbery gone wrong.

A criminal complaint states two confidential witnesses linked Moore to the crime -- the first in 2013, the second in November 2020. In February 2021, the complaint states, two additional witnesses identified Moore as the shooter. 

One of the witnesses told police that Moore intended to rob the store, but shot Abu-Hamdan by accident when the store owner went for a gun.

Moore is charged with one count of first-degree reckless homicide -- party to a crime, habitual criminal repeater. If convicted, he could face up to 71 years in prison, according to the Milwaukee Police Department.

Statement from MPD:

The Milwaukee Police Department would like to thank members of the community that came forward and provided vital information in this case. Milwaukee Police received additional information from the public after the cold case story aired on FOX6. Our collaboration with FOX6 with cold case investigations has played an important role on being able to bring charges against Moore and bringing closure to Abu-Hamdan’s loved ones.

Surveillance footage investigation

Surveillance from outside the corner store showed two men casing the property. They passed by the front of the business, looked in, and had a brief conversation before one man entered. The shooter followed.

The complaint states the surveillance footage shows the gunman fire a shot into the convenience store's ceiling and then immediately turned the gun toward Abu-Hamdan. The gunman was in the store for less than five seconds.

Surveillance footage shows two suspects outside prior to the fatal shooting of Fawzi "Fred" Abu-Hamdan

Abu-Hamdan was struck once in the hand and once in the chest. Surveillance recorded Abu-Hamdan saying he was struck by gunfire.

"This was a small-caliber weapon that passed through the victim’s hand before it struck him in the chest," said Det. Nathan Butz. "It just happened to be placed in a spot that the victim couldn’t recover from."

Surveillance footage from inside the store

An employee called 911.

At the time of the shooting, the store was packed with customers, including a young kid. After the second shot was fired, the gunman then shoved the kid out of his way. His mother grabbed him and took him to the back of the store to safety.

About Fawzi 'Fred' Abu-Hamdan

Abu-Hamdan was from the country of Lebanon. He moved to the U.S. when he was about 18 to go to college. He met his wife, and the two got married, growing their family in Milwaukee in the 1980s. Everyone began calling him "Fred."

From early on, his son, Sam, remembered his father working long hours seven days per week, but with good reason.

Fred Abu-Hamdan

"He was always working really hard to support us," said Sam Abu-Hamdan. "He was all for working hard so he could retire with my mother."

In 2012, Abu-Hamdan decided it was time to retire. He had an interested buyer for his final store, but the transaction would never go through on his watch.

Fred Abu-Hamdan

At Abu-Hamdan’s store at 32nd and Brown, customers knew they could count on him; some recalled him loaning them food until payday, or giving kids snacks that they couldn’t afford.

"He was a great man to the community," one customer remarked in 2012. "He helped take care of us."

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