Grocery store employee shot in robbery

May 13, 2009 2:31:16 PM PDT
Police are working to find the gunman who stormed a Philadelphia grocery store and shot an employee. The store employee, identified as Eliezer Urena, 35, was taken to Hahnemann Hospital to have surgery for his gunshot wounds.

He is married with two children. His employer says Urena is expected to recover.

It was around 8:20 Tuesday night when the suspect walked into the Ventura Grocery Store at 901 S. 58th Street in the Cobbs Creek section of the city.

The young man asked the Urena to show him where he could find detergent. Urena walked him to the back to get that detergent, and as the employee walked back to the front of the store the suspect pulled out a 22-caliber semi-automatic handgun and fired twice.

Bullets hit Urena in the back and in the arm. The suspect then grabbed cash from the register and ran off.

"He didn't even go in and say 'Give me the money,' give the person a chance to comply. He just walked him back and, as his back was turned, shot him in cold blood," said Capt. Ben Naish of the Philadelphia Police Department. "I don't know if it gets much lower than that."

Neighbor Bill Covington saw the suspect running from the scene, holding cash and a gun. He knows the clerk who was shot.

"If you were short, he'd let you get it. You'd come back and pay him or whatever. He's here for the neighborhood," Covington said. "Parents could send their kids here no problem, you know you'd get your change back, the kid's going to be okay."

The suspect remains on the loose, but police say the entire incident was captured on surveillance video. They hope those images will lead them to a suspect.

The store reopened Wednesday morning.

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