Neighbors stunned after beloved store clerk murdered

EDMONDS, Wash. – Police are on the hunt for a man they say shot and killed 64-year-old convenience store clerk early Friday morning in a possible attempted burglary.

The shooting happened at the 7-Eleven store along SR 99 and 238th Street SW in Edmonds. Q13 News has learned victim also worked at another convenience store just about a half mile down the road.

His coworkers said he was a warm and loving father working to put his two sons through college. Neighbors have been stopping by the crime scene dropping off flowers to share their grief.

“It’s really cold. I don’t know, I’m hurting,” said Josh Swalwell. “Edmonds is pretty quiet; you don’t really expect that.”

Edmonds Police and troopers from the Washington State Patrol crime lab spent most of the day processing the scene. Investigators say a customer called 911 around 5 a.m. Friday morning when they found the clerk bleeding and unresponsive on the floor.

“They were just out to get their morning coffee and they came upon a pretty horrific discovery,” said Edmonds Police Sgt. Shane Hawley.

Investigators released a still image showing their suspect wearing black shoes and pants, and a red jacket that has a black stripe across the top. Surveillance video from the store shows the gunman barging inside, jumping on the counter before shooting the clerk – and then leaving without taking anything. Police dogs searched for clues, but the gunman got away.

“We don’t know if he had a car in the area, if he hopped on a bus, how he ended up leaving the area,” said Hawley.

Investigators say similar crimes are rare in Edmonds and they consider the gunman to be a significant danger to the community.

Neighbors were stunned to learn a person they see on a regular basis was killed.

Long-time customers like Avis Schwab say the clerk was warm and friendly and was shocked to learn gun violence had taken his life.

“They were an institution on this corner,” she said. “They were an institution.”

Cops are urging anyone who happens to see the suspect to not approach, instead they want you to call 911.