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Robbers kill mini mart employee

Two robbers shot and killed the employee of a gas station mini mart near Madera shortly before 11 p.m. Monday, according to authorities.

The victim of the shooting at Tackle Box on Road 26 has not yet been identified as next of kin are being notified.

A call around 11 p.m. led Madera County sheriff's deputies to investigate a possible shooting at the store. They found a man who had been fatally shot.

“Detectives and crime scene personnel worked through the night processing the scene and reviewing surveillance video,” said Cmdr Bill Ward of Madera County Sheriff's Office. “So far, the investigation has revealed that two male suspects entered the store at about 10:50 p.m. The two men stole cash and two large boxes of cigarettes, then fired several shots, one of which struck the employee and killed him.”

A shoeless suspect armed with a silver revolver wore a black jacket, gray pants, socks and a blue bandanna over his face, according to Ward. The other suspect wore a black “Reebok” sweatshirt, black pants, black and white shoes and a white bandana over his face. Both wore gloves.

“Surveillance video also revealed that a man in a white Acura two-door vehicle pulled up to the front of the store during the robbery, then backed out and drove away,” Ward said. “Investigators believe this man may have seen one of the suspects near the door, realized a crime was occurring, and left.”

Authorities suspect the witness may have seen the suspects' vehicle, possibly near the gas pumps, and are asking him to come forward with any information he may have.

The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information about the murder should call the sheriff's office at 675-7770 or Valley Crime Stoppers at 559-498-STOP (7867). Callers to Crime Stoppers are guaranteed anonymity. Tips received through Crime Stoppers that help lead to a felony arrest are eligible for a cash reward.

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