LAWRENCE, Ind. — Police are investigating a shooting that left a gas station clerk critically injured Sunday morning in Lawrence.
According to the Lawrence Police Department, it was a customer arriving at Thornton’s gas station in the 7000 block of Pendleton Pike that found the victim, a man in his 20s, who had been shot.
“A person was here to get coffee and unfortunately they found the victim,” said LPD Captain Tracey Cantrell.
Police responded to a report of a person shot just after 5:30 a.m. Officers arrived and located the victim, who was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
At this time, investigators are still working to gather more information on what led up to this shooting. That is still unclear at this time.
“From what we know, the victim was the only one that was here at that time. Unfortunately a lot of times when they do shift changes and things like that, sometimes employees are by themselves before someone else is in there with them,” added Cantrell.
Police released a photo of a person of interest they are looking to identify and speak to in connection to the shooting.
“We need the public’s help. Any information — I cannot stress that enough — any information, we’ll take it and we’ll work it. Our detectives, they’re wanting to solve this incident as quick as possible,” said Cantrell.
“At this time as we’re called, we rely on the public, and a lot of times the public doesn’t want to help because they don’t want to get involved or use that term, ‘to be a snitch.’ At this point in time, because this is happening now, we need the public’s help more than we ever have before,” said Cantrell.
Police are asking anyone who lives nearby the gas station to check any video their home surveillance may have captured between 5 and 6 a.m. and let police know if they see anything out of the ordinary.
“If anything looks suspicious to them, they can call the Lawrence Police Department we can have the detectives come by and take a look and see,” said Cantrell.
“Any information, anybody that was seen walking around or someone left in a vehicle that time we could take any information we can get.”
Neighbors and police said they’re frustrated by the violence in the community.
“We’re seeing this more and more now here in the city of Lawrence. Also you’ve gotta look at Indianapolis,” said Cantrell. “The crime rate has gone up from shootings and it just seems to be getting worse for no apparent reason.”
“A lot of the incidents that we have had in Indianapolis is senseless,” added Cantrell.
CBS4 also spoke with a man who said he lost his own son to gun violence in 2017. Sunday’s shooting hit too close to home for that reason and because it happened right around the corner from his home.
“When I see the forensic truck and I saw the yellow tape and the entire gas station being roped off, I knew something bad possibly had happened,” said the neighbor, “then to hear it was a clerk. Wow, that is very disturbing.”
The man asked CBS4 not identify him publicly out of concern for his family’s safety. He added that he was shocked to hear this happened in an area he considers relatively quiet.
“This area right here, I mean it’s a lot of restaurants and stuff retail and stuff over here and so surprisingly you don’t hear a lot about robberies and things of that nature,” he said.
It has not been determined what led up to Sunday’s shooting. Police said they are investigating all possibilities, including robbery as a motive.
“Like I said I visit the gas station two to three times a week by being so close. I drive up and down the street every day,” said the neighbor. “I’ve never seen any thing or heard of anything happening in any of the stores close by.”
Police said they want to remind people that just because an incident doesn’t personally impact you or you may not know the victim, this is someone’s loved one. Anyone with information is asked to call authorities.
“At the end of the day we’ve got to make sure that we’re telling that story because that could be your son, that could be your father, that could be your brother,” said Cantrell. “Just because it’s not a relative, don’t turn a blind eye because it doesn’t affect you personally.”
“If you saw anything, if you hear anything, I know it’s easier said than done but that’s the only way,” said the neighbor. “That’s the only way to help the community solve these crimes which typically helps the victims.”
The investigation into the shooting remains ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Lawrence police at 317-545-7575 or Crime Stoppers at 317-262-8477 (TIPS).