POLICE were searching drains in a Paisley street yesterday as they looked for a weapon in connection with the brutal stabbing of a popular shopkeeper.
Javid Ali remained in a critical condition at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, where he was rushed for emergency treatment following the horrific murder bid.
There has been a large police presence outside Sunshine Licensed Grocers, in Green Road, ever since 48-year-old Mr Ali was stabbed there at around 5pm on Friday.
Yesterday, the store remained closed as forensics teams continued to examine the area for vital clues.
Experts were seen searching drains and a forensics tent was being used to cover a telephone box just a few yards from the shop.
Residents in the Green Road area have been left horrified by the attack on Mr Ali, who is a dad of three.
One young mum who lives in the street described him as “a nice man.”
She said: “I go to his shop to get my bits and bobs and he is always having a laugh with you.”
And an OAP, who asked not to be named, added: “My wife goes there to buy the papers but I didn’t know anything about the stabbing until the ambulance and police crews turned up.”
Police say they are keeping an open mind about the motive for the attempted murder of Mr Ali but one theory being investigated is that it was a botched robbery bid which went horribly wrong.
Officers have been carrying out door-to-door inquiries and remain keen to trace a teenage girl who was seen walking in the area around the time of the attack.
Detective Inspector Duncan Sloan, who is leading the investigation, said: “This female is described as being in her late teens, with dark hair, and was wearing an apron and carrying Aldi carrier bags. She was seen walking from the cycle track on Fulbar Road, towards Green Road, around the time of the attack.
“She may have seen something that could be relevant to our investigation.”
DCI Sloan has also stressed that the person who attacked Mr Ali may have been seen leaving Green Road with bloodstained clothing.
Anyone with information is asked to call Paisley Police Office on 0141 532 5900 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Back in January 2010, brave Mr Ali told the Express how he had fought off two would-be robbers who made their way into the family shop while armed with a crossbow and a kitchen knife.
On that occasion, Mr Ali fought back with a metal rod that was behind the counter – forcing the two thugs to flee the scene empty-handed.