Merrillville police have people of interest in fatal shooting, robbery

2012-03-06T19:00:00Z 2012-03-07T14:00:32Z Merrillville police have people of interest in fatal shooting, robberyBy Chas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | Police have questioned two people of interest in connection to Sunday's fatal armed robbery at Lucky Mart Foods, Merrillville Police Chief Joseph Petruch said.

Petruch did not provide other details about the investigation.

Jim Lilley, Merrillville's chief of detectives, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Police said a man wearing a hockey-style mask shot and killed store clerk Judi Simpson-Beaver, 48, of Merrillville, about 1 p.m. Sunday at the store at 5695 Cleveland St.

The shooting occurred after the person received two drawers containing an undetermined amount of cash.

The man fired one shot at Simpson-Beaver then walked behind the counter and shot the woman again, police said.

Investigators believe the suspect, who was wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt with "Royal Estoc Empire" written on it, fled the area with two other people in an older model brown Oldsmobile with a temporary license plate. The vehicle has a faded or paint-chipped hood, police said.

In addition to searching for the shooter, police have been seeking two men who were acting suspicious in the store prior to the armed robbery and shooting.

One of the men waited at the door while the other approached the counter. The men left without making a purchase.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Merrillville Police Department at (219) 769-3531.

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