Friends, family hold vigil for shooting victim

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  – More than 150 people lined up outside the Smoke House Tobacco Outlet Tuesday night to honor the man who was killed inside the store Monday morning.

According to police, Antonio Lopez Nino, 44, the owner of the store, was killed during an apparent armed robbery.

Among Tuesday’s large crowd included some of Nino’s siblings and children.

“He was kind and he was courteous,” Jose Nino, Antonio’s half-brother, said.  “He would let people hold a pack of cigarettes until payday that was a week from now and pay him later.  His word was everything.  If he said he was going to do something , he did it.”

Those closest to Antonio held a candle vigil, and brought flowers to put at the site.  A sign was hung on the front of the store that said “Antonio we will miss you.”  Nearly everyone at the vigil signed it by the end of the night.

“I love seeing all the people here,” Jose Nino said.  “People who aren’t family and the regular customers who came in and experienced the love my brother showed.  He was a good guy.”

Jose Nino said besides running the tobacco store, Antonio also owned several properties that he rented out to people in town.  One family told NewsChannel 15 that they would be homeless if it wasn’t for Antonio.

“I believe everybody here was someway and somehow touched by Antonio,” Anthony Cronin, Antonio’s longtime friend, said.

Jose Nino said Antonio had four children, two boys and two girls.  “He was one of them dads that made sure you did the right thing,” he said.

While some people had smiles for the good memories they had with Nino, many people won’t be happy until Antonio’s killer is found.

“Turn yourself in, it’s your best bet,” Cronin said.  “That’s the only advice I can give you.”

Anyone with information on this person of interest is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at (260) 436-STOP (7867) or the Fort Wayne Detective Bureau at (260) 427-1201.

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