Neighborhood in shock after clerk shot dead

Neighborhood in shock after clerk shot dead »Play Video
An investigator collects evidence at the scene of the deadly shooting.
SEATTLE - A convenience store clerk has died after he was shot in cold blood during an armed robbery Sunday morning in the heart of Ballard.

It was the most serious of four separate shooting incidents late Saturday and early Sunday in King County that injured six other people, and stunned residents of the quiet neighborhood where it happened.

"It's very shocking - unbelievable, actually. I'm at a loss for words," said Brian Patton, a neighbor who last spoke to the clerk at about 8 p.m. Saturday when he stopped in to make a purchase at the store.

Raw video of Ballard shooting suspect

Patton described the clerk as a "great guy" who was outgoing and friendly to everyone.

Assistant Seattle Police Chief Nick Metz said the investigation so far has determined that an armed robber came into the store at about 6:30 a.m., threatened the 28-year-old clerk and then opened fire.

The suspect then fled on foot.

Officers responded to the scene, a Pit Stop convenience store and gas station at 15th Avenue NW and NW 58th Street, after a passer-by called 911 to report seeing a man with a bandana in the store.

The clerk was rushed to Harborview Medical Center with gunshot wounds to the abdomen and thigh. He died shortly afterward.

"We're taking this case very, very seriously," Metz said.

The suspect was last scene wearing a dark snowboard cap with gold on it that read "Burton," a dark-colored bandanna with stars on it, sunglasses, a dark-colored jacket with a multi-colored pattern, dark pants, black shoes with a white stripe, and carrying a black satchel bag of the type used by bike messengers.

Police brought a K-9 police dog to the scene, but it was unable to track the suspect.

The suspect is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone recognizing the suspect or who may have information about this individual should call 911 immediately and refer to this incident. Those wishing to remain anonymous are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or text TIP486 with your information to CRIMES (274637).

The owner of the convenience store, Bobby Sanger, said the clerk had worked there for three years and had never reported any problems before.

Sanger said the clerk was single, with a sister and parents who live in the Puget Sound area.

"It's so sad," he said. "Everybody knows him. ... They like him. Everybody has a good word for him. He's such a nice guy."