Church, Family Offers $10,000 Reward For Ethiopian Market Owner's Killer

Posted at 10:14 PM, Apr 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-07 07:07:55-04

A $10,000 reward has been offered to find whoever assassinated a South Nashville businessman inside his restaurant.

On Thursday, members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church in Antioch held a prayer vigil for 41-year-old Gitem Demissee.

Demissee was assassinated on March 19 after a gunman walked into his restaurant, shot him several times and then ran away.

Priest Mesfin Tesemma said his church and Demissee's family have offered the reward to find Demissee's killer. 

"Through time, people are remembering him, remembering the incident. Even I am getting from most of the Ethiopian community members that they cannot sleep. They are so afraid of the whole situation," he said.

Tesemma said on Tuesday, he delivered a petition to Mayor Megan Barry's office to put more attention on this murder.

"This cannot go away easily unless justice is served," Tesemma said.

As the gunman's identity remains a mystery. So does the restaurant's future. Its doors are still closed. Demissee's car still parked out front.

"We're thinking of bringing his brother back from Ethiopia because we have to have legal representation anyways. We want it to continue somehow, but it's up to the family to decide," Tesemma said.

Police describe the gunman as 5-feet-7 and a thin build.

Anyone with information on this fatal shooting has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.