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Mini mart shooting victim identified, suspect caught

One of two suspects has been arrested for a robbery shooting that killed 20-year-old Dharampreet Singh Jassar, of Caruthers, Monday at a gas station mini mart near Madera.

Fresno County sheriff deputies arrested Armitraj Singh Athwal, a 22 year old from Modesto, for an unrelated offense, near Kerman, about 40 minutes after the robbery and murder at the Tackle Box on Road 26. "A Fresno County Deputy Sheriff saw media coverage of the incident on Tuesday and recognized some similarities between the suspects from the Tackle Box incident and the suspect they arrested on Tuesday morning," said Cmdr Bill Ward of Madera County Sheriff's Office. "Madera County detectives were contacted and follow up investigation revealed that Athwal is likely the suspect who shot the victim during the robbery." A Madera County arrest warrant was obtained for Singh, who will be transferred to Madera County Jail once he is released from Fresno County Jail. Detectives continue to search for the second suspect and any further information related to this case. Athwal’s vehicle was stored and will be processed for evidence.

The robbery

"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," said Cmdr Bill Ward of Madera County Sheriff's Office.

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.

Authorities didn't specify which of the two suspects had been arrested.

“Dharampreet was a completely innocent victim, just doing his job, when he was senselessly killed during this robbery,” said Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney.

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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