7-Eleven offers $100,000 for information in deadly California shootings
The convenience-store chain 7-Eleven on Wednesday offered $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the robber responsible for a string of crimes in Southern California earlier this week that left two dead and three injured.
A clerk was shot and killed in Brea, and another man was gunned down just outside of a 7-Eleven in Santa Ana early Monday during a five-hour period. In all, six 7-Eleven stores were targeted, possibly all by the same person.
A bystander shot in another predawn holdup in Riverside was still fighting for his life as of Wednesday. Kaya Harrel identified him as her father, Jason Harrel, 46, according to KNBC/4. She said she believes he may have intervened in the robbery before he was shot.
“If he walked into this type of situation and he saw that someone was at gunpoint or something was happening, my dad would try and stop it. He would try to get in the middle of it or ask what’s going on,” she said.
Gunfire struck two more people at another 7-Eleven in La Habra. They were expected to survive, La Habra Police Lt. Jose Rocha said Wednesday.
Another two heists took place at franchise convenience-stores in Ontario and Upland. No serious injuries were reported in those cases.
Investigators looking into the crimes were searching for a man seen in surveillance footage from the 7-Eleven in Brea wearing a black hoodie with a green and white design printed on it. No arrest has been announced.
The violence prompted the chain to suggest that franchises in greater Los Angeles close the first two nights after the shootings. It was unclear if that same recommendation would be issued for a third night.
It also was unclear if the events of Monday morning were connected to four robberies that happened in the San Fernando Valley two days earlier. But Los Angeles police were exploring potential links between them.
The businesses targeted in the LA County robberies early Saturday included two 7-Eleven stores and two donut shops located within close proximity of each other. The first happened at 3:55 a.m. on the 16000 block of Parthenia Street in North Hills.
A man between the age of 25 to 30 wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, a black face covering and dark jeans demanded money from store employees while armed with a handgun, police said. Detectives believe the same suspect robbed a business about a block north in the 16000 block of Nordhoff Street at 4:30 a.m.
In Granada Hills, a business about three blocks north in the 16000 block of Devonshire Street was robbed at 4:50 a.m. Another was robbed by the suspect about two blocks north in the 16000 block of San Fernando Mission Boulevard at 5:30 a.m., according to police.
The man was not seen on surveillance footage using a car in any of the robberies and police think he may have walked to each location, according to Deputy Chief Alan S. Hamilton. Police investigating the six robberies and attempted robberies that happened days later had not specified whether their suspect had a vehicle.
“There’s nothing to specifically confirm (that the investigations are connected) at this second,” Hamilton said in a phone interview Tuesday evening.
As a search for a suspect in the string of holdups earlier in the week dragged into its third day Wednesday,officials offered few new details. The Ontario Police Department and others have put more units on patrol while the potentially armed robber remains on the loose.
“Right now he’s probably the most wanted person,” Ontario Police Officer Eliseo Guerrero, a department spokesman, said of the as-of-yet unidentified gunman. “Making any more moves would not be smart for him.”
Tipsters can call police; they can also anonymously contact the Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS.