An East Providence, Rhode Island, man was shot and killed inside the barber shop he owned on Pawtucket Avenue Wednesday afternoon. And police are searching for the shooter.
Yusef A'Vant, 42, was the victim of the gunfire around 2 p.m. inside Krazy Kuts.
His aunt, Cathy A'Vant, spoke for the grieving family. “We're devastated. This is really, really devastating. There's shock and disbelief that this could happen,” she told NBC 10.
East Providence Police aren't talking about what may have led up to the deadly violence inside the Pawtucket Avenue shop. Neighbors and A'Vant's relatives say there weren't any problems at the shop.
“This is why we're so surprised. We're just trying to figure out who would have and issue with him that they would come do such a horrible thing,” his aunt said. The family members say A'Vant was dedicated to his shop, where he was the only worker. He had the business about 10 years.
He lived with his mother next door to the shop. Family members say he has uncles and cousins who are police officers. And A'Vant leaves a 13-year-old son.
Police officers swarmed the area after the call for gunfire came in.
Lucy Almeida, who lives two doors down, told NBC 10, “I just heard the sirens and when I looked out the window saw like a thousand cop cars.” Officers looked for a gun that may have been tossed aside as they tried to track down the shooter.
Mike St. Louis lives just up the street from the shop. He told NBC 10, “Very scary that a killer could actually be around this neighborhood and it's a very tight community. Not a lot of crime here.” St. Louis says he had been in the shop in the past. “Every time I walk down the street, he would always says hi to me, very polite, friendly. I saw him this morning when I was walking down the street to the store. I just can't believe he's gone.”
Neither can Yusef Avant's family. “We're just asking for prayers and we know we'll find out who did this. We don't understand why they would do this but we know we'll find out who did it,” his aunt said.