FBI assists in murder of Akron pizza shop worker

Posted at 4:20 PM, Jan 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-05 16:20:31-05

Akron detectives revealed the FBI will help enhance surveillance video in an effort to solve the murder of Zak Husein, who was shot during a robbery inside an Akron pizza shop last December.

"We have been in contact with the FBI and are going to see what we can do with the video," said Lt. David Whiddon.

The video captured a masked person waiving a gun at Husein inside Premium New York Style Pizza on Glenwood Avenue on Dec. 7.

Husein, 21, complied with the orders and handed over the cash from the register, but he was still shot and killed.

"Who would be cold-blooded enough to do something like that?" Whiddon asked. "It was just cold-blooded, the nature of what happened."

Whiddon said several leads, indicating the suspect appeared to be a woman, have been investigated, but the sex of the killer remains unknown.

"We are not 100 percent sure that it is a female. It could possibly be a male as well," he said.

Police received about two dozen leads and interviewed about a dozen people in the days and weeks following the high-profile killing of Husein, a junior at the University of Akron.

Whiddon said a "couple of persons of interest" were identified, but police don't have DNA evidence or other information they need to bring charges.

"I think all we need is just a little bit of information and we would be able to aggressively attack it."

Husein's mother, Naeima Husein, visited the pizza shop on Tuesday for the first time since the murder.

She stood behind the cash register near a hole in the wall, caused by a bullet. It was the same bullet that took her son's life.

Zak's older brother Ammar, who works at the shop, said he believes Akron police are doing everything possible to solve the case and his family continues to pray for justice.

"Some of us live for here. Some of us live for the hereafter. Zak, he lived for the hereafter and that's a martyr. That's someone who did something right and he was an innocent person that was murdered," Ammar Husein said. "Ultimately, justice will come whether we are alive to see it or whether we are in front of our maker to feel it."

Large rewards are being offered by Summit County Crimestoppers and the Husein family for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.

Anyone with information is urged to call Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-COPS.