The rains let up moments before the funeral started for Sam Sadruddin, owner of Z.P. Mart Shell (Sam’s Store) located on SH 105 at South Walker Road. Sam was gunned down in what appears to have been a robbery last Monday night just after 10 p.m.
Within minutes Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office deputies converged on the area after the 911 call from a customer in the store reporting a robbery in progress with a shooting. Until 3 am Tuesday a large gathering of local residents remained outside the police line as the shooting was investigated. Detectives combed the area looking for clues. Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon and several of his investigators when door to door talking with residents about the senseless shooting.
Over the next few days flowers, balloons, cards and candles stacked up in front of the store. Over two hundred people attended a candlelight service Tuesday night. Then another three hundred on Wednesday night.
But Thursday afternoon topped all that and showed how many friends Sam really had. The South Park Funeral Home on North Main in Pearland counted just short of three thousand people at the service. With the cemetery on the same property, the parking lot spilled out onto every roadway there was in the memorial park with many having to walk long distances to the service.
Once inside it was standing room only with screens showing the service in several different rooms.
The service ended with the traditional carrying of the casket to the gravesite. Men lined up over the quarter mile path each taking a turn to carry Sam on their shoulders to his final resting place.
As this was going on, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office detectives poured over the area running on any tip they had, no matter how small. Still empty handed they have not let up. Many of the detectives and patrol deputies knew Sam as they also patronized his business which has been there close to thirteen years.
Crime Stoppers is currently offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the robbery and murder. Many community members have also decided to put money into a fund which will raise the amount of the reward in hopes someone will come forward.
The details are being finalized and MCPR will post it when it is announced.
Sam’s family has decided the community still needs the store and have decided to continue Sam’s legacy. The store will reopen Friday morning after 9 am.