‘I don’t think he recognizes us,’ sister of London convenience store assault victim opens up

Rajaie "Roger" El Shorafa on a trip to Niagara Falls with his family, two months ago.
Rajaie "Roger" El Shorafa on a trip to Niagara Falls with his family, two months ago. Supplied Photo

For the past three weeks, the family of a convenience store owner brutally assaulted outside his shop last month has been grappling with a variety of questions.

Waterloo Regional Police answered one of those questions Monday morning; Rajaie “Roger” El Shorafa’s family no longer has to wonder whether 22-year-old Jessie McConnell, the suspect in the London Police investigation, will ever be caught.

READ MORE: London police report arrest in Horton Street variety assault case

But Roger’s sister, Samar El Shorafa, has no idea what the future will hold for the 56-year-old father of three.

“Nobody can tell you…. if he’s going to speak, talk, think, feel,” she said, painting a bleak picture of the man’s condition.

Since the Oct. 21 assault, El Shorafa hasn’t been able to move in his hospital bed. His sister wonders why the hospital upgraded his condition to fair.

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“My brother, I don’t think he recognizes us,” she said.

“The damage on the left side is big. He has internal bleeding, so when the blood is in the brain, that’s bad. It’s going to damage. But what kind of damage, it’s unknown, even with the doctors.”

Samar El Shorafa lives in Michigan with her family, where she works as a registered nurse. She took a three-week leave of absence to stay by her brother’s bedside while he was in critical condition. Now, she’s making the two-hour drive back and forth between London and Michigan when she has the time away from work.

READ MORE: Hundreds attend benefit concert for victim of London convenience store assault

“It’s too much for my parents,” she said. Her father, Fathi, is 80 years old.

“My dad, when I was there, he just wake up in the middle of the night… and I would say, ‘dad, calm down let’s go to the hospital you need to see your son.’

It didn’t matter what time it was, they’d wake up, put their clothes on, and go the hospital, she explained.

As for what happened outside Roger El Shorafa’s store on Oct 21st, Samar El Shorafa isn’t completely sure.

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“There was people arguing at the door of my brother’s store, and then my brother went out with his phone to say ‘leave this area or I will call the police,'” she said.

Police haven’t offered much detail beyond that. She isn’t sure if there was a weapon involved.

“We want to know why it happened.”

READ MORE: Police looking for 22-year-old suspect, after convenience store assault

Samar El Shorafa also wakes up in the middle of the night. Her husband tells her she looks pale, and that’s she lost weight from the stress.

The El Shorafa family can’t open the convenience store back up for business because they don’t have the right passwords, or know how to bypass security measures. She’s not sure if the more than $20,000 raised by a benefit concert and gofundme¬†campaign are enough to cover the bills, or the missed income.

But the most important thing, she emphasized, isn’t money-related.

“I want our brother back. We want to make sure that he’s at least going back to his kids. That’s the most important.”

El Shorafa is also proud to see the outpouring of support from the London community, which comes in the form of successful fundraisers and messages online from people who know her brother.

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“Over all the world, people praying for him, and I’m sure God is listening.”

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