(Los Angeles) Southern California police were looking for a lone gunman on Tuesday who is believed to be involved in at least three — but possibly as many as six — robberies at 7-Eleven convenience stores where two people were killed and three injured .
For more than five hours on Monday, July 11, as national brand 7-Eleven celebrated its anniversary, violence wreaked havoc at convenience stores and prompted the parent company to demand employees close their stores overnight. in the Los Angeles area for security reasons.
Investigators do not know at this time what prompted the violence in the cities of Ontario, Upland, Riverside, Santa Ana, Brea and La Habra, in the United States.
Police identified the Santa Ana victim as 24-year-old Matthew Rule. Brea’s victim, Matthew Hirsch, 40, was identified by his father, Jim Hirsch, KCBS news channel reported.
The Riverside injured person remained in critical condition Tuesday morning, police said, while the injured individuals from the La Habra shooting were in stable condition.
Police forces in La Habra, Brea and Santa Ana said they thought they were looking for the same suspect. Authorities in the US municipalities of Ontario, Upland and Riverside have yet to make that decision, although they have said they are aware of other crimes at 7-Eleven convenience stores. At this time, they have not released any additional details.
Authorities in Brea and Upland shared footage of a masked man wearing what appeared to be the same black tracksuit with a hood over his head. The sweater had white letters with green leaves on the front.
“It could potentially be the same person, but we’re not confirming that at this time,” Upland Sergeant Jake Kirk said.
7-Eleven released a statement saying it was gathering information and working with police.
“Right now, our focus is on the safety of franchisees, associates and customers. With this in mind, we have encouraged the closure of stores in the Los Angeles area [lundi soir] 7-Eleven Inc. said in a statement to broadcaster KTLA.
Ryan Railsback, a Riverside Police spokesman, said the date was no accident. He finds it impossible that the July 11 (07-11) date for the incidents at 7-Eleven is a coincidence.
The first flight took place around midnight Monday morning in Ontario, California, about 56 kilometers east of Los Angeles.
The masked man brandished a handgun at the store clerk and demanded money, according to Ontario Corporal Emilie Hernandez. He did not fire any shots and the clerk was not injured. At this time, investigators do not know what, if anything, was stolen.
The second robbery took place about 45 minutes later in Upland, less than five miles from the Ontario convenience store.
The suspect approached the clerk with a few items, “drinks and things”, and brandished a semi-automatic handgun, Mr Kirk said. The man stole items and approximately $400-500 in cash and then fled. No shots were fired.
About an hour after the Upland robbery and 40 miles from Riverside, a gunman brandished a gun and robbed the 7-Eleven employee, before turning the gun on a customer. He opened fire and fled, Railsback said. The police think the clerk put the money back in the cash box.
Criminals generally know that convenience store robberies rarely bring in large sums of money, especially at night, Railsback said, adding that it’s “strange” for thieves to do this.
Another shooting took place around 3:20 a.m., about 39 kilometers away, in Santa Ana. Officers reported gunshots and found a man dead in the parking lot of 7-Eleven with a gunshot wound to his upper torso, according to Santa Ana Sergeant Marie López.
About 40 minutes later, a 7-Eleven employee in Brea was fatally shot, Brea Police Captain Phil Rodriguez said.
The victim’s father, Jim Hirsch, told KCBS that his son worked alone at night.
“I’m so mad at this,” Jim Hirsch told the TV channel. I never thought all the hustle and bustle in the world right now would affect me, but it’s under my roof. »
Less than an hour after Matthew Hirsch was shot, officers from nearby La Habra were dispatched to another 7-Eleven for a reported robbery. They discovered two people with gunshot wounds around 4:55 a.m., but there was no fear for their lives, according to Sergeant Sumner Bohée.