ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Albuquerque community is mourning the loss of a beloved restaurant owner after he was shot and killed Tuesday night. Friends say, Rosario Zito, the owner of Giovanni’s Pizzeria in southeast Albuquerque, will be remembered for being a kind and compassionate man.

Over the last 30 years, he has made an impact on many people’s lives, like Tomeeko Morgan, who has worked at the pizzeria for more than a decade. He says Zito was more than just a boss to him.

“He’s been like a good father to me. He’s been helping me, he’s been doing a lot for everybody,” Morgan said.

Dozens of people dropped off flowers, candles, and handwritten notes at Giovanni’s Pizzeria Wednesday near San Pedro and Kathryn after he was shot and killed in front of his business less than 24 hours ago. Police say it was a robbery turned murder.

“This tragedy, he didn’t have to lose his life for a couple of dollars,” Joseph Santangelo, a friend of Zito’s said. They have been friends for nearly 50 years. Santangelo says Zito was one of a kind. “Great friend of many years of the family. Rosario was one of the best friends I have ever had.”

Santangelo will never forget his positive, outgoing spirit. “Very happy going fella, very, very happy. Him and his wife, everybody knew him. He was a blessing to each one of us.”

A GoFundMe has been set up for employees of Giovanni’s.