Video released in fatal Hammond 7-Eleven shooting

HAMMOND, Ind. (WLS) -- A 60-year-old suburban Blue Island man was fatally shot this week while working as a 7-Eleven clerk in Hammond, Ind. On Friday, police released surveillance video showing a would-be robber shooting the man.

No one has been arrested in connection with the shooting of Roger Unton. Hammond police released the video, with the consent of the victim's relatives, in hopes that someone would identify the gunman based on his appearance, voice or mannerisms.

"I would like him to come forward, I know that he won't," says Patti Unton, the victim's widow. "But I'm sure, based on the information my husband said to me when he'd go to work and the people hanging out on the street, that somebody had to have seen him. Somebody knows him."

Unton was working at the store at 6031 Homan Ave. early Wednesday when a male suspect entered and fired two shots at him after being upset that he pressed the panic button. He was taken to a hospital, where he died a short time later, authorities said.

The offender is described as a tall, thin black male wearing a black wig. Police said they recovered a wig near the store and submitted it to the Indiana State Police lab for DNA analysis. The wig has a label that says "Lace Front" and ""

Multiple law enforcement agencies are now involved in this investigation, including the FBI and Indiana State Police.

"Roger Unton was executed by an animalistic predator who clearly has no value for human life," a Hammond police press release says.

The family held a press conference Friday afternoon.

"That 7-Eleven clerk was my uncle, and he had all these people who really loved him and cared about him," said Rebecca Van Auken at the family's Friday afternoon press conference. "So it really shouldn't be about the reward money. It should be about the family that loved him and have to suffer without him."

"He's always been there for me. He helps everybody. He's just a passionate guy and loved life," Patti Unton, the victim's widow, said. "You don't do this to people. You just don't. I never would have thought my husband or any of my family would be one of these statistics."

Roger Unton had worked with 7-Eleven for over ten years. But he'd only been at the store in Hammond since August. News of his shooting death while working the midnight shift has devastated his family

"They don't carry a lot of cash in the store. He's one of those people who had always dropped the money. The money wasn't there. It was senseless," said Unton.

Longtime customers of the 7-Eleven were shocked by the news.

"He was a nice guy. I have nothing bad to say about him. I don't understand what's going on. I'm ready to move now," said customer Angel Payne.

Married for 22 years, Patti Unton said her husband was a lifelong member of the Sons of the American Legion and spent most of his free time caring for his elderly parents in suburban Dolton.

"Both of his parents are ill. And so every day he goes over to his parents' house, takes care of them, comes sees me. I work days, he works nights. It's a hard shift to work, but he does it, he was doing it," Patti Unton said.

7-Eleven is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the offender. Anyone with information is asked to call Hammond Police Detective John Suarez at 219-852-384-6207.
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