Two held over shopkeeper's stabbing death

Detectives continued to quiz two people today on suspicion of murdering a shopkeeper stabbed to death as his daughter watched on the store's CCTV system.

The 48-year-old victim, named in reports as Suppiah Tharmaseelan, was attacked at Select Convenience Store in Kingstanding, Birmingham, during a suspected robbery on Saturday night. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A man and a woman, both in their 20s, were arrested at 7am yesterday at an address near the border of Kingstanding and Sutton Coldfield.

A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said detectives were keen to trace a number of suspects seen running from the College Road corner shop after the attack, which happened at around 9.50pm.

She said: "Four men were seen running from the shop and there are two people in custody so we are still looking for suspects and appealing for information."

A local businessman told how the victim's teenage daughter watched the stabbing on the store's security camera system as she sat in the family flat above the shop.

Abid Hussain, owner of a takeaway store on the same street as the shop, said the victim was a father-of-three, originally from India, who "always had a smile on his face".

Mr Hussain, who runs the Kingstanding branch of Dixy Chicken, said: "He was a very sensitive man, a family man. He had three children, two sons and a daughter, and a wife and they all helped out in the shop.

"There was always a smile on his face and he really looked after his customers."

The businessman added: "I spoke to a relative of his wife outside the shop this morning and he told me the daughter was watching the CCTV upstairs and she saw it all happening.

"I heard she was the one who called police. I can't imagine how she must feel, and his sons."

Mr Hussain said he believed the man's daughter was around 15 years old.

He added: "A police officer told me he was stabbed three times and he was dead on the spot.

"I think the people came for money or cigarettes and alcohol.

"Just because of a few packets of cigarettes and maybe a few quid, somebody has taken his life, it is unbelievable.

"I can't believe that person I bought a bottle of milk from in the afternoon is no longer in the world.

"This is society now, it can happen anywhere. I have told my staff, if it happens here they should open the tills and let them have anything they want."

It is believed the victim's wife was visiting relatives in France at the time of the attack.

Police said the results of a post-mortem examination were expected to be released this afternoon.

Anyone with information is asked to contact West Midlands Police CID at Harborne on 0345 113 5000 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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