RIALTO – A liquor store clerk remains in critical condition a day after he was shot during a struggle with an armed robber Sunday night.
Police did not release the name of the 35-year-old male victim, who was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton for treatment of a bullet wound to the stomach area. The victim was one of two clerks working at the Foothill Liquor store at the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Millard Avenue.
Police said the two store employees initially complied with the gun-toting robber’s orders to get behind the counter and open the register. When the robber began counting the money, one of the clerks tried to grab the gun, said Lt. Joe Cirilo.
There was a struggle, “and unfortunately the gunman fired one shot into the clerk’s abdomen,” Cirilo said.
The robber then left with the cash. Police were called just after 10 p.m. Sunday.
“We will never recommend or suggest that anyone confront an armed suspect,” Cirilo said. “There’s no amount of money that’s worth risking your life.”
Cirilo said detectives are examining surveillance tapes from the store in the hopes of identifying the gunman. The suspect is described as a black male in his 20s who was dressed in a gray sweatshirt and blue jeans at the time of the roberry. He was said to be 5-foot-6 in height and 165 pounds.
Rialto is a San Bernardino County city located to the west of San Bernardino, neighboring with Fontana.
Earlier this year, there was a series of armed robberies in the area. In April, police arrested a suspect in the slaying of a 20-year-old man who was getting food in a drive-thru lane at an area restaurant.
Dalray Kawane Andrews, 20, was arrested and booked into West Valley Detention Center on charges of robbery and murder for the April 10 killing.
Police Chief Mark Kling said then that Andrews shot victim Joshua Huizar “for no apparent reason” during the 1 a.m. armed robbery. Andrews was linked to a San Bernardino street gang; his capture was aided by a parole officer who alerted police.
Anyone with information in the liquor store robbery is asked to contact the Rialto Police Department at (909) 820-2550.