Police: Store clerk complied during fatal armed robbery

2012-03-05T18:00:00Z 2012-03-06T17:40:52Z Police: Store clerk complied during fatal armed robberyBy Chas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | Police said a 48-year-old Merrillville woman complied with a man's demands for money before she was shot to death Sunday during an armed robbery at Lucky Mart Foods, 5695 Cleveland St.

A man wearing a hockey-style mask entered the store about 1 p.m., displayed a handgun and demanded money, said Jim Lilley, Merrillville's chief of detectives.

Lilley said the suspect received two drawers containing an undetermined amount of cash.

Before leaving the store, the man fired a shot at store clerk Judi Simpson-Beaver, Lilley said. The man then walked behind the counter and fired another shot at the woman, who had worked at the store for about six months, he said.

"This was a heinous crime," Lilley said.

Merrillville police continue to search for the suspect, who was wearing a dark colored hooded sweatshirt with "Royal Estoc Empire" written on it, Lilley said.

Police believe the suspect fled the area with two other people in an older model brown Oldsmobile with a temporary license plate.

Lilley said video surveillance shows two men acting suspicious in the store minutes before the armed robbery and shooting.

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

Lilley said investigators also are looking for those two people.

He said there was a customer in the store when the masked man entered, but the customer fled unharmed when the gun was displayed. Police have interviewed the customer, Lilley said.

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

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