'Very pleased': Family of Mark Garrity Jr. reacts to arrest in deadly Raleigh stabbing

Thursday, April 20, 2023
Family of man killed in Raleigh stabbing reacts to arrest
This morning's gathering of friends and family of Mark Garrity Jr. was originally supposed to be a rally, pushing for charges in the case.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The owner of Taz's Convenience Store in downtown Raleigh made his first court appearance Thursday in connection to a deadly stabbing.

Taiseer Zarka, 60, has been charged with the murder of 27-year-old Mark Garrity Jr.

On April 6, , Zarka allegedly suspected Garrity of shoplifting before the two engaged in a dispute and then a fight. Garrity was stabbed multiple times and later died at a hospital.

On April 6, at Taz's Convenience Store in downtown an employee told ABC11 the owner, Taiseer Zarka, accused Garrity of shoplifting and asked him to open his bag.

"People's lives matter," said Garrity's mother, Amy, before the appearance. "There's laws for a reason. You don't take the law into your hand. There's consequences. Respect human life."

The Garrity family has been vocally pushing for charges to be filed in the two weeks since the incident. They called Thursday a first step toward justice.

"So it was hard to grieve, and hard to trust what was going on, and trust the process, and trust the system," Amy Garrity said. "But in the end, we're very pleased with the outcome. And I'm my son's voice, Mark's voice."

Garrity's family reacted to the arrest in a gathering on Moore Square.

Thursday morning's gathering of friends and family was originally supposed to be a rally, pushing for charges in the case. Amy Garrity told ABC11 that she was sitting at home making posters for that rally when the call came in from Raleigh police. She said she and her husband were overjoyed by the news, calling the last 14 days indescribable and saying the family's suffering was made worse not knowing whether justice would be served.

Now she's saying the sense of relief is enormous.

Zarka uttered only his name in a brief first appearance that lasted less than 90 seconds. In light of the charge, Judge Mark Stevens appointed him a capital public defender at the request of his attorney present.

Zarka was held without bond.

His next court appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 11.

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