The clerk was shot early Christmas morning at a gas station off Beltway 8 and San Augustine.
The convenience store was temporarily shut down Christmas night. Regular customers are in shock by what happened because they say the front doors are usually locked after midnight, only allowing purchases outside. But on Christmas, the doors were left unlocked for customers and a masked gunman came running in.
It was around 2am Christmas morning when surveillance video taped a man making two quick trips inside the Handi Shop convenience store. Minutes later, a gunman ran in firing several shots. Then, knocking down displays, he grabs the cash register.
All of this was happening while 22-year-old convenience store clerk Jaya Chandra Elaprolu lies dying on the floor.
"The victim was struck five times and there was five rounds in the door of the store room, behind the cash register. That certainly is no demonstration of mercy or even giving the victim the opportunity to cooperate," Pasadena Police Department Asst. Chief Bud Corbett said.
Cindy Manzano works at the daycare center next door. She says she knew the store clerk.
"Whenever I would go out at night, I would come get gas and he would sit there and talk to me. It's sad. I feel sorry for his family. That's not much of a present," she said.
Pasadena police are investigating using surveillance video and talking to witness. They are also focusing in on a man who police believe may be connected to this robbery. But authorities want to catch the killer before he strikes again.
"Obviously from what you have seen, he is a very violent individual and the sooner we can take this individual into custody, the better," Corbett said.
The suspect who opened fire on the clerk is believed to be a white male, 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall, weighing between 220 and 250 pounds. He was wearing a bulky black jacket, black ski mask and blue jeans. He had on a black belt and tan or light brown work boots. The weapon with which he was armed appeared to be a 9mm handgun.
The other man police want to speak with is described as a white male in his 20s, standing between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-9, weighing between 140 and 150 pounds. He was wearing a black 'hoodie' with white lettering on the front, black pants and black shoes. At the time of the robbery, he had close-cut dark hair and a distinctive bald or white spot at the top of his head. At this point, it's not certain if it was a permanent characteristic or a temporary 'prop,' say police.
If you know anything about this crime or witnessed anything, you're asked to call Pasadena police at 713-477-1221. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS. Whether anonymous or not, Crime Stoppers will pay rewards up to $5,000.00 for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of criminal offenders.