While Edmonds police continued their search for a homicide suspect, a pile of flowers and balloons was growing in front of the 7-11 store on Highway 99 where a 64-year-old clerk was shot to death Friday morning.
The store remained closed on Saturday, with crime tape stretched across the parking lot.
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner has not yet released the identity of the victim — an Edmonds resident — but those stopping by the scene recalled him as a quiet man who warmed up to customers over time.
One of those bringing flowers was Cleveland Clarke, a long-time Edmonds resident who estimated he has visited the store 25 times for snacks and drinks — and had many interactions with the victim.
“Every time I came, he was there,” Clarke said. “He was a quiet guy, a really quiet guy. He didn’t deserve this.”
Jillayne Schlicke said she didn’t shop at the store but has neighbors who were frequent customers, and they were devastated when they learned of the victim’s death. “They really liked him,” she said.
Schlicke said the area around the 7-11 — located in the 23800 block of Highway 99 — has become increasingly dangerous, in part due to the cheap hotels that attract drug users and other criminal elements. “It’s gotten progressively worse over the last two or three years,” she said.
“You watch them walk from the hotel, go by those trees and shoot up heroin, throw the needle down and walk away,” she said. “The biggest issue is, we need more police all around here.”
A customer who entered the 7-11 — located at 8101 238th St. S.W. — found the unresponsive clerk on the floor around 5 a.m. Friday. Police units from across Snohomish County, King County and the Washington State Patrol responded to the area and a K-9 unit was dispatched in an unsuccessful attempt to track and locate the suspect.
Police have released a still photograph from the video in the hope that the public can help identify the suspect. He is described as a white male, possibly in his 20s, wearing black shoes, black pants and a red and black jacket. The hood of the jacket was up and his face was covered when he entered the store.
There is also a surveillance video of the suspect and a photo of a vehicle that may be related to this case in our previous story.
Police said the subject is a serious threat to the public, so anyone seeing him should not approach him and instead call 911 immediately. Anyone with information about this incident should contact the Edmonds Police Department at 425-771-0200. A phone tip line is available by calling 425-771-0212. Online tips can be submitted through www.edmondswa.gov/police/anonymous-tip.html.