Every night after he closed up shop, Basil Hubble, a hard worker who had just started as a clerk for A&A Cash Market, would call the owners just to let them know he had locked up and all was well.
On Wednesday night, though, no call came. Ayeda Sati and her husband had just begun to wonder if they should be worried. Then their phone rang — on the other end of the line was a police investigator.
Hubble, a 31-year-old Roanoke man, was the victim of a shooting that erupted at the neighborhood store on Moorman Avenue Northwest around 9 p.m. Wednesday just an hour before its closing time.
A 20-year-old man has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the case. The police have released few other details, and said their investigation remains ongoing.
Hubble, described as a kindhearted presence in the neighborhood, died at the scene. He leaves behind an 11-year-old daughter.
“I’m still in shock,” said Sati, who’s owned the corner store since 2018. “He was such a good guy. Everyone liked him.”
“All our customers are sad and mad. No one understands. Why did this happen?”
Hubble had just begun working as the store’s night clerk two weeks earlier. He loved manning the counter and chatting with the neighborhood regulars, said co-workers and customers.
When a woman mentioned her car radio was busted, he went outside and tried to help her fix it. When a man’s cat died, he shed tears with him. If someone was short a few cents on a purchase, he got change out of his own pocket to cover them.
“That was my buddy,” said LeLe Carroll, who said she stops by the store several times a week. “It’s going to make me cry just thinking about all the little conversations we would have.”
“He didn’t deserve this.”
Hubble grew up in Orange County, where he loved to fish and hunt and work on cars, said his cousin, Angie Mullins. He was the first grandson in his family as well as its first redhead.
“He was a special kid,” she said. “We always called him our favorite little redhead.”
“We loved him more than anything.”
The family is still trying to process the grief of Hubble’s death. One thing that has brought them a measure of comfort is the outpouring of love seen from his friends and neighbors, said Mullins.
Hubble moved to Roanoke about three years ago, after his aunt, Mullins’ mother, who he was close with, relocated to the city. The two lived not far from the store.
Hearing about the bonds that he formed during his time here and how much he meant to others has been a form of balm during this emotional time, said Mullins, who still lives in Central Virginia.
On Friday evening, Roanokers gathered in not one but two vigils to remember Hubble. One took place near his home.
One was held at the store, where candles were lit and customers picked up a pen to add their names to a large poster board bearing the words: We Love You.
Sati asked for prayers. “This is hard,” she said. “It’s hard on all of us. It’s hard on his family.”