Officers said they got a call about a robbery and an unresponsive man inside Karim's Food Mart Store located at 2053 Raleigh Road just before 1 a.m.
At the store, officers found 47-year-old Abdul Karim Alwarrak deceased.
His body was taken to the medical examiner's office for an official cause of death, but detectives say they're treating the case as a homicide.
Police ask that anyone with information about what happened to call them at (252) 972-1411 or call Crime Stoppers at (252) 977-1111. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
They said the suspect(s) may have been driving a green or dark colored minivan.
Alwarrak had eight children who lived with their mother in another country. Friends say he had just received pictures of his 7-month-old from his wife the night before he died.
In March, another storeowner was shot to death at Sammy's Food Mart on Old Wilson Road.
Forty-seven-year-old Rafiq Salim Soufan - known to customers as "Sammy" - was found lying on the ground, in the parking lot outside his store.
That case remains unsolved.
Police say there are similarities between the crimes, but they're not linked by evidence at this point.