2007_03_beachchannel.jpgWednesday night, a masked man robbed the Casa Blana grocery on Beach Channel Drive in the Rockaways, shooting 35-year-old Makel Maharram in the head twice and shooting at Maharram's 11-year-old cousin Luqman Sharhan twice, but missing. With the robber still on the loose and Maharram in the hopsital, Sharhan's father Saleh Sharhan hopes they can "flush the guy out" with Luqman's story.

The Times describes Luqman's extended family, a group of Yemeni immigrants own a few delis and bodegas, and how his father was trying to "instill a solid work ethic in each of his six children" by having them work at the delis. The 11-year-old was helping out Wednesday night because another employee was celebrating successfully passing a citizenship test. The gunman came in around 9PM and immediately shot Maharram, once in the temple and once in the jaw. In between stealing Dutch Masters cigars, the gunman shot at Luqman, narrowly missing him. The boy told Newsday, "I could see the hole in the piece of wood next to me. I think he thought he hit me." The gunman then forced Luqman to empty out the register; the man fled with $600 and "a bunch of black and blue do-rags."

Maharram is in critical but stable condition at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. His children and wife, who recently had a third child, still live in Yemen. Luqman's father said that a surveillance camera technician was supposed to install a camera earlier in the week but was a no-show. Saleh Sharhan said, "For us, this is the American dream. It may look small to some people, but for us, it’s a very big thing, to open businesses in a foreign land.” And Newsday wrote of Luqman, "Call him the bravest 11-year-old in New York."