Employee shot and killed during liquor store robbery in West Covina

Employee shot and killed during liquor store robbery in West Covina

Authorities are searching for a gunman who shot and killed an employee during a robbery at a liquor store in West Covina.

The incident happened around 8:45 p.m. on Sunday at Big Bob's Liquors and Market located at 1413 West Puente Avenue when two men drove up to the store, which had a display of merchandise outside in front.

According to the West Covina Police Department, the employee was shot when he tried to stop the men from stealing items from the display.

Investigators say that they made off with a few bottles of alcohol, which prompted the employee to chase after them. It was then that they opened fire on him. 

When police arrived to the scene, they found a man with a gunshot wound in critical condition. Paramedics took the victim to the hospital where he later died from his injuries.

The 34-year-old victim has been identified by his roommates as Karanveer Singh. They were waiting to inform his family back in India of the tragedy before releasing his identity to the public. 

Coworkers and friends of Singh shared their thoughts on the man whom they said treated everyone as family.

"The way he treated me, like a member of my family, it's really touching," said Justin Harvey, a longtime customer of the store and a friend of the victim. "It's really hard on me."

He's one of many hoping for swift justice. 

"This was a senseless act of violence and we want to show our support to him," Harvey said. 

Throughout the day, community members could be seen dropping off flowers and candles outside of the store. 

They gathered outside of the store Monday evening, many in tears as they remembered the man that many considered a brother. 

"Very beautiful person," said Glenn Farias, another customer of the liquor store. "We linked up very good with him, like family. He's like a brother to us."

The liquor store owner, who wishes to remain unidentified, said that the victim is his brother-in-law, who leaves behind his wife and a 12-year-old son in India.

He was planning on bringing his family to America next year so they could have a better life. 

"Since they can't be here, I feel like I could be here. I can be here for him," Harvey said, noting that the victim often sent money home to support his family overseas.

Family members who own the store are now concerned for their own safety, forcing them to close the shop on Monday out of an abundance of caution.

A private reward of $25,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest in the case. 

Authorities have released photos of two persons of interest that they are seeking in connection with the shooting. In one photo, captured from the store's surveillance footage, a white SUV can be seen waiting near the store's parking lot, which investigators believe they fled from the area in. 

West Covina police urged anyone with any information regarding the robbery to call them at (626) 939-8688.

Source from cbsnews.com