Liquor Store Owner Killed After Handing Over Money

Hernandez was shot even though she complied with the suspects' demands

DC Police are searching a Northwest neighborhood today, hoping to find two men whom they say killed a popular liquor store owner.

After gettting a report of an employee who had been shot, police went to La Casa De Morata liquor store at 5421 Georgia Ave., NW around 9 p.m. Saturday. They found Rufina Hernandez, 51, of Hyattsville, Md., with multiple gunshot wounds to her face and neck. She was brought to Washington Hospital Center's MedSTAR Unit, where she later died from her injuries.

Another employee in the store told investigators that two men, one armed with a handgun, went in to the store and demanded money from Hernandez. According to police, Hernandez "was cooperating and was fully complying with all the demands," but was still shot by one of the suspects.

Police said they believe the two robbers fled the store on foot and likely live nearby.

Both suspects are believed to be in their 30s or 40s. The armed suspect has been described as a medium-skinned black man, who was wearing a flannel shirt.

The second suspect has been described as a dark-skinned Hispanic man, about 6 feet tall and thin; he was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.

Friends and neighbors held a candlelight vigil for Hernandez Sunday night.

According to a friend, Hernandez almost didn't re-opened the store open after her husband died.

"For months, she didn't want to open the store because...she couldn't take it without him. But she had faith in the Lord and she said, 'I'm going to open it. I'm going to do it,'" the man told News4. 

If you know of anything that could help police in this case, call 202-727-9099. You may also respond anonymously by text messaging the Text Tip Line at 50411.

The police department offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone who gives information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for any murder committed in D.C.

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