Whittier 7-Eleven shooting: Police search for suspect after store clerk killed during robbery attempt

WHITTIER, Calif. (KABC) -- A community in Whittier is mourning the loss of a 7-Eleven clerk who was killed during a holdup at the store early Saturday morning, as authorities continue their search for the robbery suspect who they say shot him.

Police say the robber walked into the convenience store on the corner of Santa Fe Springs and Lambert roads carrying a semi-automatic handgun just before 6 a.m. The clerk cooperated with the suspect's demands for cash but it didn't matter, according to the Whittier Police Department.

"It appears he just came in, just an armed robbery, the victim was complying and for whatever reason the suspect decided to shoot the victim," said Officer Hugo Figueroa.

Two customers were inside the store at the time of the shooting but were uninjured.

For many community members, the 7-Eleven was a daily stop in their routines when they became familiar with the employees. Police have only identified the victim as a man in his late 20s or early 30s.

"A lot of people stop here. A lot of people were posting - who got shot? What worker? Because they know all the workers that work here. Everybody is friendly," said Whittier resident Robert Bernal.

Witnesses described the suspect, who fled from the scene, as a man about 5 feet 7 inches tall, wearing dark clothing, gloves and a bandana on his face.

"It's horrible. It's a horrible loss and I hope they catch the guy because he didn't deserve that. It's senseless," said customer Aurelio De La Torre.

One neighbor said this is the third shooting in the area within the last day, but authorities say they are not related.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact detectives at (562) 567-9281.
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