Store clerk killed in Colorado Springs robbery

A clerk was killed in a shooting at Empire Liquor in Colorado Springs on February 15. / Macy Egeland - FOX21 News
A clerk was killed in a shooting at Empire Liquor in Colorado Springs on February 15. / Macy Egeland - FOX21 News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Police are investigating after a liquor store clerk was shot and killed during a robbery overnight in Colorado Springs.

Police said it happened just before midnight at Empire Liquor at Academy Boulevard and North Carefree Circle. Officers went to the store to investigate a robbery alarm. When they arrived, they found a man with a gunshot wound. He was taken to the hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Police said no arrests have been made, but there is no danger to the community.

Thursday, people honored the victim by placing items outside of the store.

Police haven’t confirmed this information just yet, but a source close to the family told us the victim is the owner of the store.

“Pretty nice guy. Always straightforward. Got real straight to the point. No nonsense. Wasn’t much for conversation, but he was always nice,” said Chad Snow.

The owner also went the extra mile serving his customers.

“He would always recognize me. Say hi. As soon as I would come in, he would get up. I’d always walk back here, because I’d always get a Canada Dry and then he would have what I wanted for me when I’d get up to the counter,” said Snow.

Flowers, a teddy bear, and cards: all things for the owner that would remember your name as you walked into his store.

As his family, customers, and neighboring businesses recover from this murder, some people who work in the shopping center said it makes them question how safe they thought it was.

“In instances like this when this occurs, I think anyone in their right mind would have red flags go up,” one employee said.

Police are looking through security video to get a description of the suspect in the owner’s death. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 719-444-7000, or Crime Stoppers at 719-634-STOP (7867).

UPDATE (February 22, 2017): Police have confirmed the shooting victim was Donat Herr, 67. Police said their investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

This is the seventh homicide of 2017 in Colorado Springs. At this time last year, there were no homicides.

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