Clerk gunned down at Merrillville mart

March 5, 2012 4:09:10 PM PST
Police hope surveillance video will lead back to suspects that shot and killed a store clerk in Merrillville, Ind.

Forty-eight-year-old Judi Simpson-Beaver had already handed over the cash when the gunman came back to the counter and killed her.

Police detective Joe Cooper is asking for the public's help as authorities search for the gunman responsible for killing the convenience store clerk during an armed robbery.

"A tragedy that took place," Cooper said. "This lady was obviously a hard worker just trying to do the hard thing."

"We have one suspect walk into a store, demanded money from the clerk and the clerk complied, handed over the money," said Chief of Detectives Jim Lilly. "Items that transpired afterwards is that our suspect ended up shooting the clerk."

Police say the incident happened Sunday afternoon around 1 p.m. when an unidentified man armed with a gun entered Lucky Mart Foods. Investigators say store surveillance video shows the attacker shooting Simpson-Beaver once in the chest and firing at her two more times before taking cash and leaving the store.

"Our leads have brought us to that there was a brown Oldsmobile that was seen leaving the area, occupied by three subjects," Lilly said. "We believe that vehicle may have been involved. It had a temporary license on the back window. The only other description of that vehicle, it had a fainted or paint-chipped hood."

Simpson-Beaver only worked at the store for a few months after moving here there Texas. Monday, police are searching for the gunman, who was wearing a navy or black hoodie.

"We're looking for the public's help," said Cooper. "A cousin or friend or somebody that may have been wearing this type of jacket (Sunday). Basic things like that."

Police are asking anyone with information to call the Merrillville Police Department at 219-769-3531. At this hour the store remains closed. A manager or someone who entered the store and left without comment said most likely it will reopen on Wednesday.