Convenience store clerk shot during robbery

Convenience store clerk shot during robbery
A 7-Eleven store clerk is in critical condition at Kern Medical Center after an overnight robbery. It's a crime that's shocked customers, and police said it's particularly senseless violence.

Bakersfield police are looking for two unidentified suspects who allegedly shot 24-year-old Gurpeet Singh Brar in the stomach after robbing the 7-Eleven store on Pacheco Road just after midnight Wednesday morning.

Detectives say the two men came into the store, they got money and lottery tickets -- and then one robber shot the clerk before they headed out the door.

Frequent customer Stacy Eveland was shaken up, hearing about the crime. "It's pretty scary," said Eveland Wednesday afternoon. "It's kind of upsetting to me. I don't know why they would shoot him."

That's something police can't figure out either. "The victim totally complied with every demand the suspects gave him, which is what we tell people to do," said Bakersfield Police Sgt. Greg Terry. "And there is apparently absolutely no reason -- as the suspects are leaving the store -- one of them shoots the clerk."

The incident was captured on store surveillance video, and police released two photos. One picture shows the clerk with his hands up, and the cash register drawer on the counter.

The other photo shows one suspect reaching into the till, while the second robber points a gun at the clerk. One man's face can't be seen because of a large hood on his jacket or shirt. The robber on the right has a bandanna over his face, and the gun in his right hand.

Sam Khalid was heading into the store Wednesday afternoon, and he's worried about the violence. "I feel bad for the people that own the store," he said.

Eveland says she's familiar with the injured clerk. "I don't know him by name," said Eveland. "But, I'm in here a lot and he's very friendly -- always speaks to me when I'm in here."

Police say no one else was in the store when the shooting happened, but a couple customers were just outside in the parking lot about to come in. Sgt. Greg Terry said those customers saw the robbers run off.

The suspects are described only as white or Hispanic men in their 20s who wore bandannas during the robbery. Police hope someone who sees the surveillance photos might help track down the criminals.

Any information on the crime can be given to Secret Witness at (661) 322-4040.