Liberty County, Texas -- A young gas store station clerk tragically lost his life on Sept. 6 when he was shot while working at a gas station at the corner of Highway 90 and Farm-to-Market Road 563 in the close-knit town of Liberty.
Gurjitpal Singh was just 22 years old and known to customers as Vishal, according to an ABC13 report. His brother-in-law told the news station that he was full of life and worked to support his parents in India.
The convenience store reportedly did not have surveillance video of the suspect and the Liberty Police Department has not released any possible motives, though the department had identified persons of interest.
In an interview with ABC13, the store manager said Singh had asked an intoxicated man to leave the store before the shooting occurred. That man appeared to have returned and shot Singh twice, the manager said.
The gunman fled and police did not immediately release a description of him or his vehicle. The Texas Rangers are assisting the Liberty Police Department with its investigation.
COMMENTARY ON NEGLIGENT SECURITY BY ROB AMMONS
My heart goes out to this young man’s family as they navigate the tragic loss of their brother and son. This story is heartbreaking and unfortunately becoming far too common. We are seeing repeated acts of violence leading to death and serious injury at convenience stores across the nation. I recently read a report outlining nearly 100 similar encounters, suggesting the convenience store industry must act to provide greater safety to its employees and patrons.
Many of these encounters are rightfully triggering negligent security lawsuits against the stores. My firm has personally handled a number of these cases in the past. These lawsuits allege that the convenience stores lacked the most basic security features designed to prevent violent crimes from occurring.
While a more in-depth investigation must be conducted on this specific incident, the lack of security footage suggests this convenience store was not equipped with even the most basic security features designed to prevent acts of violence like the one that cost this young, hardworking man his life. Legal pressure is often required before an industry will take the steps necessary to fix a problem. I hope that we can accomplish that here, and prevent more tragedies from happening in our communities.