Car lookout cancelled in gas station clerk homicide case

HANOVER, Md. (WUSA9) -- A store clerk who worked in Maryland and sent money to his family in India was shot and killed at a gas station early Thursday morning during a robbery, Anne Arundel County police said.

The suspect walked right into the Exxon gas station at the corner of Route 175 and Ridge Road in Hanover, Md. at about 1 a.m. Thursday and didn't even give the clerk time to react, police said.

Police have released surveillance video of the incident, which can be viewed here:

The suspect shot the victim, Rajinder "Raj" Kumar, took the money and then left, police said.

"This is a brazen homicide," says Anne Arundel County Police spokesperson Lt. T.J. Smith.

The 49-year-old victim was a clerk who worked the overnight shift most nights.

Kumar was an immigrant from Amritsar, Punjab, India who had been working in the U.S. for four years to pay for his son and daughter's university education in India, according to his housemate, Jagdeep Singh, 22 of Glen Burnie. Kumar intended to rejoin his family in India in the future, Singh said.

Singh described Kumar as "like a father" and said he was hardworking and very religious.

His body was found by a customer who called 911.

Surveillance video has not yet been released, but police say it confirms what they believe: there was no struggle.

"This is cold blooded, cold hearted. It's a murderer out there and now we are looking for him," said Lt. Smith.

Kumar didn't resist and was "assassinated" after the suspect's gun appeared to jam at least twice before he fired the fatal shots, according to Kumar's boss, Nabeel Malik.

Store video cameras show a masked man wearing a dark hoodie and white cargo shorts entering just before 1:35 a.m., Malik said. The killer immediately raises his gun and attempts to fire as he reaches the clerk's counter, apparently without any interaction with his victim,​ according to Malik.

The shooter only netted a "small amount of money" because there's little in the register at night, Malik said.

"This is a bad person, bottom line. A bad person out there that took someone's life simply for a few dollars," said Lt. Smith.

Regulars of the gas station stopped by throughout the morning, all heartbroken by the news.

"He always had a smile on his face, I never saw him frown," said Angela Burley, a customer. "If you had to get gas and didn't have enough money he would front you," she said.

"You don't have to let anyone in here at night, you can deal through the window," said another customer, Sha Lesaine. "He trusts his people. Someone probably took advantage of his kindness."

The suspect is described as an African American male, unknown age, average build, wearing a dark hooded sweat shirt, tan or light colored shorts, armed with a handgun.

Police say they have located the operator of a Range Rover whom they were interested in questioning. They continue to work to identify the suspect.

Police ask that anyone with information on the crime give them a call at 410-222-3460.


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