A man who stopped at a San Diego gas station early Thursday was shot and killed in a robbery.
Just before 4 a.m., a man walked into the AM/PM at Balboa and Mount Abernathy avenues and demanded money.
The clerk complied and handed over some cash and then dropped to the ground to take cover behind the counter, police said.
The suspect ordered a male customer to get down on the ground for the second time.
“It appears from initial reports the victim refused,” said Lt. Paul Rorrison.
The witness told police he heard a struggle between the robber and the customer. One shot was fired striking the customer in the chest.
Rorrison said the clerk did not witness the shooting. Investigators are looking for video from the store's surveillance camera.
“This was an innocent victim who just happened to be in the store at the wrong time,” Rorrison said.
After that, the suspect fled the scene traveling northbound. San Diego Police were looking for a man who is short and thin, in his 20s, wearing a blue beanie, blue jeans and a blue hooded sweatshirt with a black bandana over his face.
Officers just found money recently dropped in an alley near Beadnell Way and clothing that might be consistent with what suspect was wearing in the back of the parking lot behind the AM/PM.
The victim, described as a man in his 40s, was rushed to Sharp Memorial Hospital where he died of his injuries. His identity has not been released but Rorrison said the man was considered "a regular" at the store.
Rorrison said it's believed the customer walked to the AM/PM prior to the shooting to get a light.
The clerk was not injured but was described as "traumatized."
"Obviously this is a dangerous individual," Rorrison said. "We want to get him off the streets as soon as possible."
The gas station is located east of the intersection of Balboa and Genesee, near the Albertsons and across the street from the IHOP restaurant.
Police released photos of the suspect captured on surveillance tape Thursday afternoon. They can be seen above and here.