Police investigating suspect’s motive in shooting death of Oklahoma convenience store clerk

Local

DUNCAN, Okla. (KFOR) – A 20-year-old convenience store clerk was shot and killed early Tuesday morning at the Chisholm Corner gas station near 9th and Bois D’Arc in Duncan.

“It was nano seconds. I mean, it was open, BAM,” said Duncan Police Chief Danny Ford. “You can be killed for absolutely no reason.”

Chief Ford said 18-year-old Samuel Varela is in custody after shooting and killing the gas station clerk early Tuesday morning.

Before the murder, Duncan police said store clerks at the Loves near 2nd and Main noticed Varela was hopping in and out of the store, acting strange.

“They said the person had been in there five times and had been so nervous. He got a large cup of ice and was shaking so hard he spilled the ice all over the floor,” said the chief. “They just felt like they were going to do something.”

Officers said Varela moved to the Stripes gas station a couple of blocks away.

While inside, he showed the clerk he had a gun, asked for lottery tickets, then left the store.

“He was masked, he had a hoodie up, had one of the gaiter masks up to his eyes,” said Ford.

Police started searching for the suspect at nearby gas stations. The chief said many of the stores decided to close their doors when they realized what was happening.

A police officer checked the Chisholm Corner convenience store and found the store clerk dead inside.

“When the officer looked in the window, he saw the attendant on the floor in a pool of blood.”

The doors to the Chisholm Corner were locked. Officers broke through the glass door to reach 20-year-old Malaki Stone, but it was too late.

Duncan police and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents believe Varela walked up to the drive-thru window at the gas station, tapped on the glass, then shot Stone in the face.

“There was no conversation. Then he reached in and fired more rounds into Malaki,” said Ford. “He never asked for money.”

Meanwhile, Officers were back at Loves, pulling security cam video when Varela walked through the doors.

“Still in the mask, still in the hoodie. He was placed under arrest at that time and was brought to the station,” said Ford.

Now, Duncan Police and the OSBI are searching for a motive, if there is one.

“The word people like to use is senseless. I think it’s greater than that. I think it’s incomprehensible. You can’t comprehend,” said Ford. “They don’t have to have a reason to kill you. It could be something going on with them that has nothing to do with you.”

Police said they were able to talk to Varela while in their custody.

“He gave us an information that said he felt like his grandmother was being disrespected. Don’t ask me where that came from. We don’t know,” said Ford.

Investigators are also wondering if Varela could’ve been stopped.

“I don’t think he had any intentions of stopping. I think he would’ve killed anyone he came in contact with, who knows why,” said Ford.

Duncan Police Department officials said they have hours of security camera footage to download and sift through.

So far, investigators are not sure if Varela and Stone knew each other.

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