Corner store employee found dead

Police believe robbery was the motive for the attack

By Courtney Gilmore - Anchor/Reporter

HARRIS COUNTY - Deputies are investigating a murder after a store clerk was found dead inside of a convenience store in north Harris County.

Officials said they initiated a welfare check to the Blue Bell Corner Store off Veterans Memorial around 3:00 a.m. Thursday after a female customer called 911 for help.

"This woman frequents the store, and she usually sees the clerk behind the counter and he greets her but this morning she couldn't find anyone in the store," said Homicide Det. Felipe Rivera."She thought that was odd, she went to her boyfriend's house and called 911, then came back to the store. When we arrived we found him dead inside of his office."

The woman was questioned by authorities and was later released.

According to detectives, the motive appears to be robbery based on the evidence that was uncovered inside of the store.

The 24 hour store was blocked for hours as officers from the Crime Scene Unit completed their investigation. Photographs were taken in and around the trashcan next to the bus stop on the corner and officers combed through the area surrounding the store.

Authorities released video captured by surveillance cameras inside the store that showed two men, both in black jackets with their faces covered, walking out of another room and then exiting the store. The video showed one of the men wearing a red hat and white bandana drop a long black object on the counter. Police have not identified these men as suspects.

Police are hoping the cameras outside of the store captured a getaway vehicle that could lead them to the suspects.

Customers who tried to go inside the store were turned away.

"I come here every morning," said customer Enrique Guzman."This is so sad, and it's happening too much. Every day there is a robbery, and for what? The clerk inside of that store was always nice. He was generous. He was hard working. I'm just tired of this."

This week there have been six armed robberies in the Houston and Harris County area.

Monday morning, minutes after employees opened the Shipley's Donuts off Antoine and Little York for business, a young man held the manager and her staff at gunpoint forcing her to empty the register.

"The suspect was inside for 20 minutes," said the owner. "He even fired his weapon."

Less than 24 hours, later three armed men robbed the Subway restaurant across the street.

On Tuesday, a robbery at Fantastic Donuts and Croissants led to a shootout between suspects and the store's owner. He was rushed to the hospital after he was hit by gunfire.

That same evening, a 36-year-old customer was shot and killed during a robbery at another Subway restaurant in south Houston off MLK and the South Loop.

While HPD officers were investigating the deadly robbery in south Houston, deputies were investigating another armed robbery after two men stormed into a Family Dollar off Fairbanks N. Houston.

Authorities have not yet released the name of the clerk. According to detectives, the victim was in his 50s.

While deputies continue searching for the suspects, they ask that anyone with information about this homicide to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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