By Kirk Mitchell and Annette Espinoza | The Denver Post
Police are searching for a man who fatally shot an Ethiopian immigrant inside a 7-Eleven convenience store early Saturday morning.
The victim called police at 3:30 a.m. and told them that he had been shot inside the store at 567 E. Louisiana Ave. The store clerk was found in an alley near the store, said Sonny Jackson, Denver police spokesman.
It is not known why he was found outside, Jackson said.
Police have not released the name of the victim, but neighbors identified him as “Nathaniel.”
He was rushed to Denver Health Medical Center where he later was pronounced dead, Jackson said.
Police are searching for a white man, about 30, average height and weight, with shoulder-length, brown hair, Jackson said. He was wearing a green jacket and likely blue jeans.
Witnesses told police the gunman fled in a silver, four-door car, which looked to be about 5 to 8 years old.
The killer used a rifle, police said.
“What his motive is, we don’t know,” he said.
When asked whether anything was taken from the store, Jackson said he would not comment on evidence.
The clerk, who was 27, had worked at the 7-Eleven store for five years, said Margaret Chabris, spokeswoman for 7-Eleven.
“Last night, he worked alone, but I don’t know if he was alone in the store (at the time of the shooting),” Chabris said Saturday.
She said someone called police, but she doesn’t know if it was a customer. She said 7-Eleven clerks have been killed before but not necessarily during the shift between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
“These are random acts of violence,” Chabris said. “We’ve heard of incidents of violence in broad daylight.”
She said the clerk was a loyal, hardworking, good employee.
“It sounds like something that was unprovoked,” Chabris said. “It devastates all of us.”
The clerk had been a manager of the store before, under different ownership.
He has relatives locally and overseas, Chabris said. Police were having trouble reaching his mother, she said.
The store had camera surveillance equipment. The tapes will be turned over to police for their investigation, Chabris said.
Yellow crime tape surrounded the store Saturday. After police left, employees entered the store and began cleaning.
Staff writer Kieran Nicholson contributed to this report.