Red Deer police continue to search for a man who shot a clerk in the face late Wednesday night at the West Park Fas Gas.
The male clerk is said to be in critical but stable condition after being transported to a Calgary hospital.
Shortly after 11 p.m. on Wednesday, a lone male entered the Fas Gas armed with a sawed-off shotgun. The male walked up to the clerk at the counter and produced the weapon.
When the clerk placed money on the counter, the male suspect fired the shotgun, hitting the clerk in the hand and face.
Police said the clerk was taken by fire-medics to Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre in serious condition. He was airlifted to Calgary, where he is in critical but stable condition.
Tom McMillan, director of corporate communications for Parkland Fuel Corp., which operates Fas Gas, said, “Our hearts and our sympathy go out to the victim and the family.”’
“It is a terribly tragic and senseless incident and we’re doing our best to co-operate with authorities,” McMillan said.
The location will be closed for the foreseeable future for evidence collection and cleanup.
One neighbouring Red Deer business owner expressed concern after the shooting.
Scott Bloomfield owns The King’s Coat military surplus store around the corner from the Fas Gas.
“I know the people who own the (Fas Gas) store personally,” said Bloomfield. “I’m concerned it’s someone I know and I go there often. I hope for the best for the person who was shot.”
Bloomfield said he has had trouble with crime at his store. A trailer behind his store was stolen and people are constantly putting graffiti and gang tags on the back of his store. He also said he has a problem with kids running on the roof. Recently someone attempted to drill a hole into the skylight but was unsuccessful in gaining entry into his store.
The problem, he said, is the proximity to the river. People can escape quickly into the trees around the river and evade capture after committing an offence.
Police describe the suspect as a Caucasian male, about 1.8 metres (six feet tall), medium build, wearing eye glasses during the incident. He was clean shaven but does have sideburns.
He has a tattoo on his right shoulder of what appears to be a maple leaf or a crown. He was wearing a dark navy blue basketball-style jersey with dark pants or jeans and dark footwear, and a black baseball cap.
The suspect was last seen fleeing westbound on Cronquist Drive on a bicycle.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.