Gas station clerk killed in armed robbery

First on My Ballard: A man wearing a bandana over his face shot and killed a clerk at the 76 Station and “Pit Stop” on 15th Ave. this morning, police say. The employee suffered gunshot wounds to the stomach and thigh, and he died a short time later — the first murder in Ballard since March of last year. The suspect is at large. (See photos and a description of the suspect.)

Police say they received a 911 call at 6:30 a.m. after “witnesses saw the suspect in the store with a bandana over his face.” When officers arrived, they discovered a man in his 40s with life-threatening injuries.

When we arrived several minutes later, medics were working on the victim inside the ambulance as police cordoned off the area. Officers also cordoned off a section of the Ballard Dental Clinic across 58th St., including the parking lot.

Homicide detectives and crime scene investigators arrived soon thereafter, processing evidence inside the convenience store. The owner of the “Pit Stop” briefly spoke to the media at the scene. “Everybody knows him,” Bobby Sanger said of the victim, wiping away tears. “He worked here ten years. Everybody in the neighborhood knows him.” Many My Ballard readers in comments (below) say they knew him as well. “I can’t believe this!” says J. “I’d walk down to the store and he’d tell me all sorts of stories about his family and India and the people he sees every night. He was so so nice. My prayers are with his family.”

The gas station remained closed Sunday evening. Right next door to the 76 Station is Knotty Bodies, the new bikini coffee shop that opened for business yesterday. It’s also closed, surrounded in crime tape. (Thanks Silver and SeattleMedic7 for your help on the story.)

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

61 thoughts to “Gas station clerk killed in armed robbery”

  1. No K-9s available, so containment is being released. Containment is usually several blocks out from the actual scene.

    The site is probably still cordoned off for the detectives to work it for evidence. Somebody important just arrived in an unmarked black SUV, probably Homicide. I believe they have to process the scene as a homicide in case the victim doesn't pull through.

    The suspect description that I heard, was a dark skinned but not black male in his twenties, 5'5″, slim build, with a middle-eastern or Asian accent. He ran northbound, and may have gone through the parking lot of the dental building across the street to the north.

  2. The latest suspect description (from the security camera video) is that he was 5'10″ tall, wearing a snowboarding hat with a gold “Burton” logo on the front, carrying a small messenger-style bag. He had on a jacket with a colorful ethnic design on it, and shoes with distinctive white piping above the sole.

    'Course he's probably ditched all of that by now.

    I'm glad they've got video of him though.

  3. “Course he's probably ditched all of that by now.”

    I doubt it. Ever watch 'The First 48'? Most of these folks aren't the brightest of the litter.

  4. per

    a store clerk, who police say is in his 40s, was shot in the abdomen and thigh. He was transported to Harborview Medical Center where he is said to be in stable condition.

  5. The gas station employee was shot at least twice by an armed robber at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday in Ballard.

    Police responded to the scene, the Pit Stop station at 15th Avenue NW and NW 58th Street, after a passer-by saw a man with a bandana over his face in the store and called 911.

    The victim, a man in his 40s, was found with gunshot wounds to the abdomen and thigh. He was raken to Harborview Medical Center, where he died later.

    The suspect fled the scene and remains at large. He is described as a a black male, about 25 years old, 5-foot-9-inches tall, skinny, wearing a black-and-white bandana and black-and-white hat.

  6. I can't believe this. I live just down the street from here. I go in all the time and the folks that work there are so nice and run such a nice little store. This is just so horrible and incredible that somebody would do this. My heart goes out to this man's family and coworkers. I'm so sorry.

  7. My husband and I live just a few doors down from the station on 58th. I'm sure I interacted with this man many times. As far as I am concerned he was a neighbor, and this is shocking.

  8. Oh No!!! I live one block away, and I know the victim. Well, not by name but I see him all the time…this is so sad to know…I hope that creep gets what he deserves!

  9. wow. terrible news. i'm so sorry for this man and any friends and family suffering now.

    can't believe someone would have such a disregard for life. over what? how much could have possibly been in that drawer or safe?

    sad day for ballard.

  10. I can't believe this! I used to see that man all the time. I'd walk down to the store and he'd tell me all sorts of stories about his family and India and the people he sees every night. He was so so nice. My prayers are with his family. I don't understand how someone could be so selfish and careless with a life.

  11. I agree, very selfish and cruel. I have heard most stores like this don't keep a lot of cash on hand for this reason. I hope they catch this criminal quickly.

  12. This is sad indeed, no one wants this in any neighborhood, and the crime definitely casts a shadow on the usually peaceful Ballard. I hate to bring it up so soon, but I'm also saddened and troubled by the SPD's original description of the suspect. I realize the spokesman's description of “skinny black man” has since been retracted, but I think it's still something to ponder, and talk about at some point.

  13. I don't see why he had to shoot him, just take the dam money and run to go buy the drugs. I hope he gets whats comming to him. Maybe he will over dose, but even thats to good for this coward.

  14. Please, if that is what the original information was, then its their duty to report it and alter it as additional information comes in. Sometime I think people actively seek opportunities to make racial issues out of none at all.

  15. I disagree. If the original information is not based on facts but on stereotypes or racism then we are worse off in the short run and the long run ….

  16. They need more cameras in Ballard so at least they can track criminals to a car outside or even directly to their location. This has worked pretty well in Manchester and London in the UK.

    I am so sorry for the clerks family and hope the thief/murderer is caught and the court throws the book at him.

  17. damien,

    you made it racial w/you original post by pointing out “skinny black man”. you said nothing of the height or clothing that was also relayed. so the ball is back in your court my friend. and yes, spd is only relaying what was originally fed to them. is it a perfect system, no, but it's what we've got.

  18. Hey, everybody – I heard the original descriptions go out, and they were saying “dark complected” which came from the witness. That is simply not a definite description, and was confusing to everyone.

  19. Thank you for all the links and info, Silver. Both here and in the forum. Open eyes and ears can sometimes make all the difference.
    I really hope they get this guy.

  20. I live at 65th and 24th and I saw policemen cruising around this morning. I was outside, and actually had an officer stop and ask me if I saw this man. He described him the same way Seattle medic did, as a young black male with a bandana and a bag. I think they were just trying to get the word out as fast as possible and I don't think it was intended to imply anything racial. The officer who described him to me was black as well.

  21. I live a few houses from the Pit Stop, have shared meals with several of the employees who I've gotten to know over the past 2 years. I fear that this victim was one of the last of those I know well. I'm still anxious to know for sure. Regardless, it's such a needless, heartless, vicious crime. I fear that this crime will go unpunished.

    I also feel like this is part of a recent increase in crime in Ballard that probably stems from drug addiction. We need to think about what might be causing desperate people to commit more crimes in this neighborhood.

  22. This perp obviously knew what he was doing. He was covered head to foot, sunglasses, gloves, large weapon with hands in a shooting position. I hope witnesses come forward and this guy is caught soon. Maybe he has been implicated in other robberies given his MO. I am in this area a lot and he needs to be ID'd and caught.
    Prayers for the innocent victim. Ten year employee, it is tragic.

  23. My girlfriend and I go there all the time, his name was Mashish, he was an amazing human. He brought a smile to our faces every night we stopped in. We are torn to pieces over this. Ballard has officially gone to shit! I talked to a SPD officer who said customers were in and out of the store while he was dying and did nothing. A large piece of my faith in the human spirit died today with him. RIP my friend. You're in a better place tonight.

  24. ” We need to think about what might be causing desperate people to commit more crimes in this neighborhood.”

    How about blaming the criminals.

    Most poor, desperate people somehow manage not to be criminals.

  25. which member of SPD told you this? polive were called while the murderer was inside the store. how much time passed between the call and response for people, including the caller to stroll in and out? this is a sad, sad day and this kind of speculation is a little “sensational.”

  26. Yes, obviously. What I meant was, what might we be able to do to keep Ballard from being attractive to those criminals. Catch this guy and put his head on top of one of the art pieces on the Ballard Bridge, that would suit me fine. I'm not saying “blame society”, I just don't want any more of this in my backyard.

  27. The SPD watched the video at role call this morning and saw the customers on tape… Not speculation.. He fought back after being shot too!

  28. I'm sure the customers were likely calling the police. I just can't watch someone in dire straights and wait for somebody else to do something about it.. I'm just upset that I wasn't able to help.. I saw him 3 hours before and we discussed the new coffee stand with half naked women serving coffee to perverts… I can't believe this! This couldn't have happened to a better human.. Why is it that only the good die young?

  29. Or hang him from the Bergen 'trees.' Finally a good use for them.
    Convenience stores get robbed. I don't think there is anything specific that attracted him to this one.

  30. I had a bad dream a few months ago. A person in my dream looked at me and told me “If you keep working here, you will die”. This dream was around May this year. I used to work at a convenience store but that dream spooked me and due to other circumstances I was no longer working at a convenience store when this occurred. My prayers to the family of the man who worked there. I hope this man is caught and never harms or kills anyone else again.
    There is one other dream I had that has not come true. I hope it doesn't. The person in that dream was wearing black, riding a bike with some kind of a raingear poncho or black garbage bag covering a rifle. Sometimes these dreams happen just like I see them and sometimes they are symbols and mean other things.

  31. What's it going to take for Nickels to beef up security in Ballard. It just isn't the same neighborhood as it was a few years ago. The criminals have found it and the only thing that will deter them is MUCH greater police presence.

  32. Now maybe the city and Voters will listen, Ballard needs a Police station,…the North Station has way too many areas to cover. Get it together Seattle way too much crime in these patrs last year. I made a call just week to the fricken Mayors office because of very close call at a Ballard drive thru. The bums have got to go. I am really thinking about getting my CWP and hopefully will never have to use it. But if I have to I will.
    My best thoughts for the Victims family may he rest in Peace and may the SOB who did the crime pay for it with many years in JAIL HELL.

  33. this article describes the victim as a man in his 40's. The Seattle Times says that he was only 28. Is this confusion on the part of our first-responders?

  34. I purposely went “further down the road” just because of how friendly he and the others (the owner always smiling too) were and how they seemed to make a point of being nice to everyone that came in (I've seen the owner smiling and joking compassionately with a homeless man that hung out in front) What the hell is wrong with people???

  35. Thank you to everyone for helping the police catch the murderer. Thank you for your support and prayers for our family through this difficult time. Thanks for the media attention and everyone in the police department: the detectives, forensic team and every single person that help solve this horrifically tragic death of our loving family member. Maybe it will be some consolation for my brother, sister-in-law, her parents, friends, and the community of Ballard.

    His name was Manish Melwani. He was twenty-eight year old and the youngest of three siblings. And the sole caretaker of his elderly parents especially his mother, who has heart disease, who was and still is distraught of the death of her youngest child that she required medical attention.

    He was a quiet and hardworking guy who had just become a proud new uncle of twins (less than six week old)!! I rembember the last I saw him was at the party at my brothers house celebrating the twins. We were the youngest uncle and aunt there you know. He on his sister's side, me on my brother's side. We were happy for our older siblings.

    I pray that his parents and my sister-in-law get through this. As I hope you all will too.

    Thank You Again

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