Gun violence remains at an all-time high as four shootings occurred on Monday at California 7-Eleven stores, with two of the shootings being fatal.
Authorities are currently in search of a suspect who has been linked to three of the shootings in the Los Angeles area. However, a police spokesman said that it remains to be seen if the suspect is connected to a 7-Eleven shooting in Riverside.
Ryan Railsback, a Riverside police spokesman, revealed that a victim in the shooting, a customer in his mid-40s, remained in “grave” condition late Monday afternoon.
The incident occurred before 2 a.m., when the suspect entered the store, robbed the clerk, and shot the customer before fleeing.
Other robberies happened in Santa Ana, Brea, and La Habra, between 3:20 and 4:55 in the morning, according to authorities.
Santa Ana police spokeswoman Sgt. Maria Lopez said it is unclear if “being a 7-Eleven on 7/11 has any relation to why he did it. “It’s hard for me to say,” she added.
7-Eleven, which had been offering free frozen drinks for “Slurpee Day,” released a statement.
“Our hearts are with the victims and their loved ones,” the statement said. “We are gathering information on this terrible tragedy and working with local law enforcement.”
According to Sgt. Lopez, the victim in Santa Ana was found in the parking lot outside the 7-Eleven after the shooting was reported at 3:20 a.m. The unidentified victim was shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene.
“We don’t believe he was an employee,” she said. “He may have been either walking or he was a potential customer.”
Detectives believe the suspect is linked to other shootings after seeing a security photo released by authorities in Brea, 13 miles north.
In the Brea shooting, officers responded after 4 a.m. to a report that the 7-Eleven clerk was fatally shot during the robbery and was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Our hearts go out to the families of that person,” said Brea Police Captain Phil Rodriguez at a briefing. “Please know we’re thinking about you.”
Although additional details regarding the shooting weren’t immediately available, Rodriguez said the authorities planned to warn other 7-Eleven stores in the area to take extra precautions.
A fourth shooting occurred in La Habra, which left two people wounded after a reported robbery just before 5 a.m., according to police spokesman Sgt. Sumner Bohee. He also shared that the victims were taken to a hospital, but there have been no updates on their conditions.
“We feel confident it’s the same suspect,” said Rodriguez, referring to the Brea and La Habra shootings.
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