New lead into deadly shooting at Family Dollar store

May 17, 2012 10:00:00 PM PDT
Police are trying to figure out if a clerk killed in a robbery at a Family Dollar store in southeast Houston was killed by the robbers or a customer.

The deadly shooting happened Thursday night at the store on Bellfort near Nunn. And now, a new discovery is helping move the investigation forward.

Homicide detectives are now looking into two bicycles that were ditched about 30 yards from the store. They're hoping for some sort of positive lead.

"I park over here quite often and I saw these bikes laying the particular spot they were, which was kind of odd," truck driver Michael Hughes said.

Hughes says he pulled into a vacant lot and noticed the two bikes and called police.

"I got out and came to take a closer look and saw they were very nice bikes and not something that someone would just leave laying around like that," he said.

On Thursday night, police say two armed, masked men walked into the store just before closing and demanded money. That's when a customer police identified as Kevin Simon pulled out his gun and exchanged fire with the robbers. The assistant manager of the store was shot and killed.

Police say Simon did have his concealed handgun license.

Meanwhile, dozens of customers we talked to on Friday were in disbelief.

"Senseless, senseless killing," customer David Butler said. "They could have just taken the money and let them live."

"I don't feel safe coming here no more," customer Terri Terrel said. "That's it, that's my last time."

On Friday, 20 Family Dollar stores were closed so employees could grieve.

The medical examiner's office says it has completed the victim's autopsy. They identified her as 26-year-old Tyrza Smith.

Police say the two armed men who drove off in a customer's car. They are believed be driving a tan four-door 2012 Toyota Camry with Louisiana license plate N238302.

Those two bikes where taken to the police evidence room, where they will be fingerprinted.

Meanwhile, if you have any information on who the two men behind the shooting are, you're asked to call police.

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