Homicide Sgt. Maureen Royds said yesterday that there were no suspects in the case. She said witnesses reported seeing a young man running down the street. A gun was found in a vacant lot about a half-block from the shooting, but police had not determined whether it was the one that killed Ho.
Ho's brother-in-law said the family was in the apartment upstairs when they heard cries for help. They hurried down and found Ho lying at the bottom of the stairs, in the rear of the store. He had been shot in the right side of the chest, Royds said.
Nothing was taken in the robbery attempt, said Detective Frank Ujfalusi, who was dispatched to the store after the shooting. "Shot him, got scared and ran out," Ujfalusi said.
Ho's brother-in-law - who gave only his last name, Ly - said that a man had threatened to rob the store about 5 the previous afternoon, but that Ho and his son had chased him off.
Ho had run the store for 1 1/2 to 2 years, Ly said, after moving to Philadelphia from Los Angeles. He was a native Chinese born in Vietnam who immigrated to the United States in 1979, Ly said.
Ly, who lives in Oregon, said he was visiting the Ho family.