Clerk dies after shooting at gas station in Centennial; suspect at large

Shooting occurred during robbery at Quebec Street and County Line Road

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A gas station clerk died after sustaining a gunshot wound to the left abdomen in a robbery the night of Nov. 26 in Centennial, according to the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office.

“The suspect asked for cigarettes then asked for everything,” the sheriff's office said in a tweet.

Surveillance video shows that the suspect and the clerk spoke for a short time, according to a sheriff's office news release. The suspect then pointed a handgun at the clerk, who put cigarettes and money from the cash register in a shopping bag, according to a sheriff's office news release. When the clerk handed the suspect the bag, the suspect shot him. The suspect then left the store. Authorities received a call about the shooting at 6:47 p.m.

Another gas station in Centennial on East Arapahoe Road was also robbed the same day in an incident where the suspect fired a single round into the ceiling, according to the sheriff's office.

No other employees or customers were in the store at the time of the the first shooting, which occurred at 8263 S. Quebec St., said Deputy John Bartmann, a spokesman for the sheriff's office. But citizens later came in, found the clerk and called 911. The gas station sits at East County Line Road, just north of Highlands Ranch.

Deputies administered aid to the clerk before he was taken to an area hospital, the sheriff's office said in a tweet. He was rushed into surgery, where he died, the release said.

The victim was identified as Mauricio Omar Perez, 24, according to the Arapahoe County Coroner's Office. Perez died of the gunshot wound, the office said in a news release.

The suspect in that first shooting is a white male who appears to be in his mid-20s and wore a gray hoodie, a black-and-white plaid shirt or jacket, gray pants, and tan shoes, according to the sheriff's office. He appears to be between 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-7, wore eyeglasses and has an average build, according to the news release.

It was not immediately clear whether the suspect left the scene in a vehicle or on foot — deputies received surveillance video from inside the store but didn't get footage from the outside, Bartmann said. Witnesses who arrived after the shooting told authorities they observed a male walking away from the scene, and the description the witnesses gave matched that of the suspect from the video, according to the news release.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call the sheriff’s office tip line at 720-874-8477. Anyone with information about the suspect could receive up to $2,000 while remaning anonymous if they call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers, an organization collects information on unsolved crimes or individuals wanted by police. Its number is 720-913-7867.

Deputies searched the area with the assistance of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the Lone Tree Police Department, according to the news release.

Deputies don't believe there's any danger to the public as a result of the suspect being at large, Bartmann said.

Another gas station in Centennial was also robbed on that same day by a suspect with a somewhat similar description, according to a sheriff's office news release on Nov. 30.

At about 4:30 pm, a male entered the Conoco gas station at 10210 E. Arapahoe Road — near South Havana Street — in central Centennial and pointed a handgun at the clerk, the sheriff's office said in a news release. The clerk gave the suspect the cash drawer, and then the suspect fired a single round into the ceiling, the release said. The clerk was not injured and the suspect left southbound on foot from the area.

The suspect is described as a white male between 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-7 with a medium build who wore a gray sweatshirt with neon lettering on the front, gray pants, gray shoes, a black face mask and tan work gloves, according to the sheriff's office.

The sheriff's office was not yet sure if the suspect is the same person who is suspected of robbery and homicide at the Quebec Street gas station, Ginger Delgado, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said at 1 p.m. Nov. 30.

In regard to the Arapahoe Road incident, the sheriff's office "is asking for the public’s help in trying to identify a robbery suspect who is considered armed and extremely dangerous," the Nov. 30 news release said.

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