CMPD release photo of suspected shooter in 7-Eleven clerk's 'cold-blooded' killing

(Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)
(Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)
A photo of the suspect vehicle. (Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)
A photo of the suspect vehicle. (Source: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Police in Charlotte have released a photo of a man they say is wanted in connection to Saturday's killing of a convenience store clerk.

CMPD investigators say Khaled Mohamad Elmerkabaoui was working alone when he was killed "in cold blood" in what appears to be a robbery attempt.

At a press conference Thursday, police released a photo of the suspected shooter. A total of $10,000 is being offered as a reward for information leading to the person pictured.

A photo of the suspect vehicle was also released a short time later.

The news came one day after detectives requested the public's help identifying five witnesses in connection with the killing.

"The suspect walked in – from all indications it was a robbery attempt. The clerk offered no resistance whatsoever to the suspect and the suspect did shoot and kill the clerk He then fled the store," said Captain Chris Dozier. "We're extremely upset over the fact that a situation like is extremely rare. You have a clerk that offers no resistance, offers no resistance whatsoever and is a victim of a homicide."

Detectives say a customer who arrived at the store on Westinghouse Boulevard shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday found El-Merkabaoui's body.

"We do have surveillance of what occurred inside the store, so it's very helpful to us," Capt Dozier said. "It's a tool we're using to follow up on leads and hopefully it can be instrumental in helping solve this murder."

Police say it's troubling that the suspect killed when he wasn't threatened.

"That's the perfect descriptor - this is cold-blooded," Capt Dozier said. "Usually robbers - their goal is to get money from the store for whatever reason. If the clerks comply, then that's what happens. That's what we see for the vast majority of the crime – for robberies."

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Officers are asking the public to step up and help.

Anyone with information about the witnesses is asked to call detectives at 704-432-TIPS or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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