Milton Daniels, Jr., 20, stood in front of a judge Tuesday shaking his head slightly as prosecutors outlined the case against him. Police say Daniels shot and killed Abdul Ghani El-Rawas during a robbery last month at Orchard Market.
"I can call him a lowlife. To walk in for 60 or 70 bucks, take a life of someone who never did harm to the community," said Adib Chouiki, a friend of El-Rawas.
Friends of El-Rawas say they're relieved his alleged killer is behind bars, but still can't believe that someone would take the life of a man who even detectives learned was so loved in the community.
When they were doing their investigations, they were talking to the neighborhood, and everybody spoke very highly of him. He never had a problem with anybody. He was just a hardworking person, who works to make a living and serve the community," said Chouiki.
Police say Daniels lived in the area and went to the store a few times that January day before robbing it. They also say Daniels had a warrant out for his arrest for a previous larceny charge.
"He was known to us. Not to do robberies at the time. We received information from a credible source that he may have been involved in the robbery, and as we did with all the information we received from sources regarding the incident, detectives ran down the information," said Assistant Police Chief Archie Generoso.
Daniels was arrested Friday and charged with felony murder. His family was in court for his arraignment.
"As far as him being my son, this is surprising, it’s shocking that he did what he did. I’m sorry to the family of the victim for what happened, from the bottom of my heart, I’m so sorry. We’re just going to pray for him right now," said his father, Milton Daniels, Sr.
Daniels is being held on $2 million bond. He'll be back in court next month.