‘Never Going To Be The Same’: Police Searching For Suspect Who Fatally Stabbed Beloved Deli Owner In South Jersey

AUDUBON, N.J. (CBS) — A memorial grew outside of a South Jersey deli on Saturday night after its owner was killed in a deadly stabbing. Eyewitnesses say the deli owner was fatally stabbed during an altercation over a tip jar and now, the search for the killer is underway.

The incident happened just before 5 p.m. Friday outside of the Shamrock Delicatessen, located on South Davis Avenue in Audubon.

The deli is closed this weekend and according to its marquee, it’ll reopen on Monday. But a family is left grieving and customers are left to wonder why it happened to a beloved owner.

“It’s not worth losing your life,” customer Bobby Toney said. “Now that guy’s gone, he’s been here forever. It’s a shame.”

Toney was getting soup at the deli around 4 p.m. Friday. Less than an hour later, according to police, 52-year-old Jerry Pastore was killed.

Witnesses say the incident began after the suspect allegedly stole the tip jar off the counter inside the deli and Pastore chased the suspect across the street, where he was fatally stabbed.

“I did notice the tip jar, it was packed full of dollars, Toney said. “I stuck a dollar in it. It’s a damn shame.”

On Saturday, police released a picture of a man they believe is the suspect walking alongside a bicycle.

(Credit: CBS3)

“It’s sad for the community and it’s sad in general,” neighbor Steve Loraeux said. “I loved this place. He was the heart and soul of this place.”

A picture of Pastore sits atop a GoFundMe page started by patron Angelia Taylor to help support his wife and children.

“I mean, this is just unheard of. My neighbor texted me and was like, ‘have you been on Facebook?’ and I wasn’t,” Taylor said. “I picked up my phone and it just flooded my newsfeed with all this tragedy. It was terrible.”

Along the threshold of the neighborhood hot spot, lay flowers and a candle brought by Toney, who doesn’t believe a man so friendly deserved to die this way.

“It’s never going to be the same. That guy is gone. It’s so senseless,” Toney said.

An investigation is active and ongoing.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Camden County Prosecutor’s Office at 856-580-5950 or Haddon Township Police 856-833-6210.