A 66-year-old Indian-origin gas station employee was shot dead during an armed robbery in the US city of Philadelphia and police are searching for three men in connection with the murder, according to media reports.
Philadelphia police on Thursday released a surveillance video showing the three suspects wanted for killing the victim identified as Patro Siboram, 6ABC, a television station in Philadelphia, reported.
The incident took place on Tuesday at the Exxon on the 7100 block of Torresdale Avenue, a major commercial street in Tacony, Northeast Philadelphia.
Investigators are hoping someone can identify the masked men by the clothing they were wearing.
Police said the masked men entered the gas station’s mini-mart and broke into a back area where Patro, the store’s clerk, was working.
They attacked and shot him once in the back and fled with a cash register. Medics pronounced Patro dead minutes later.
“It was very sad. It was tragic. The member was unfortunately assassinated. He was well-liked by the community who knew kids on a one-on-one basis,” Philadelphia Police Captain Jose Medina said.
Patro was originally from India and just returned from a trip overseas, CBS News Philadelphia reported.
He leaves behind a wife and son.
The manager of the Exxon gas station says they are adding security gates and will be implementing window service only during certain hours.
Neighbours spoke fondly of Patro, saying he knew his customers well and was helpful. He was concerned about a rise in crime in the area, including carjackings and attempted break-ins at the gambling machines inside the store.
“He just didn’t deserve it,” a customer said, adding that Patro was “just a wonderful person.” A USD 20,000 reward is offered for an arrest and conviction in every murder in Philadelphia.
Indians and other South Asians work in large numbers at petrol stations in the US. In September, an Indian-origin man was killed at a petrol station in Tupelo, Mississippi.