Man charged after store owner dies in Tollcross disturbance

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A MAN who died from a suspected heart attack during a terrifying ordeal in a Tollcross shop has been described as a huge loss to the area.

The 64-year-old, believed to be the store owner, fell ill at collectables shop Emporium 62 on Home Street and later died in hospital.

Officers stand guard outside a shop on Home Street

Officers stand guard outside a shop on Home Street

He suffered the attack after another man entered the store on Saturday afternoon during a midday rampage.

Read more: Man dies during disturbance at Edinburgh shop
One witness reported items being “smashed up” inside the Tollcross store during the incident.

Police yesterday charged a 34-year-old in connection with a series of disorder offences.

The alleged offender caused havoc in the Castle Street, Frederick Street and Princes Street Gardens areas during a frenzied romp through the city centre.

Officers were called to the Tollcross shop, near the King’s Theatre, around 2.10pm following reports of a man causing a disturbance and acting in a threatening manner.

Neighbour Martin Hamilton, who lives directly above the shop, paid tribute to the store owner. He said: “I was in a few months ago and he spoke of a triple bypass operation he had at some point in his life.

“I used to visit the store often just to check out the unique wares as his shop was forever changing – and because he was a lovely guy.”

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Grainger, from Gayfield CID, said: “Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of the man who sadly died yesterday during this incident.

“Our inquiries are continuing into the full circumstances and I would appeal to any members of the public who were in the city centre, Tollcross and surrounding area and who witnessed what happened to come forward to assist with our investigation.”

The area outside the shop was cordoned-off while police investigated.

Mr Hamilton said the owner was a “really colourful character”.

He said: “He often spoke to me and many others I think about opening a franchise basically using his stock ... [he was] just a really welcoming man, a big loss to this area.”

Customer Irene Eastwood, who had gone into the shop while visiting Edinburgh, commented on Facebook: “How sad to hear the news. I can honestly say it was one shop I always remembered going in, not only from the man’s kindness but his larger than life character! Very sad indeed!”

A police spokesman said: “Police in Edinburgh can confirm that a 34-year-old man has been charged in connection with a series of disorder offences in the city centre.

“Officers received reports of a man causing a disturbance in the Castle Street, Frederick Street and Princes Street Gardens area between 12.40pm and 1.25pm on Saturday, August 25.

“At around 2.10pm officers attended a business premises on Home Street to a report of a man causing a disturbance and behaving in a threatening manner. During this time, a 64-year-old man took unwell within the premises and subsequently died in hospital.”

The death is being treated as unexplained. The 34-year-old is expected to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today.

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