An 18-year-old from Escalon, shot during an attempted armed robbery on Monday evening, Oct. 10 in the city underwent surgery and was reported in serious but stable condition on Tuesday morning.
Escalon Police Chief Gus Flores said the victim, a female employee at Family Dollar on Jackson Avenue, sustained multiple gunshot wounds and the armed assailant then fled the scene.
The victim was taken to an area hospital for treatment.
“They had two trauma teams working on her, she went into surgery Monday night,” Chief Flores explained.
He added that the victim – whose name was not released by the police department as the investigation is still ongoing – was among a few employees in the store when the robbery suspect entered.
“There were other people in the store, including some children, but he waited until the other customers left before approaching the counter,” Flores explained.
It is believed that the employees recognized the suspect, as there had been an attempted robbery at the same location just a couple of weeks ago. The victim was behind the counter and police said the suspect was armed with a 9mm semiautomatic pistol; the female employee sustained four gunshot wounds.
“The call came to us at 7:35 p.m.,” Flores said, noting that a different time was originally released in error. “The suspect came into the store about 7:20 p.m. and basically just looked around for 15 to 20 minutes.”
When employees recognized the suspect as having been in prior, Flores said, they put money from the registers in the safe.
The assistant store manager put the call in to the police and after the shots were fired, the suspect fled the scene. Initially, police reported he left the scene in a vehicle but later determined he fled on foot, toward the area of Mitchell and California.
“We are looking for anyone in that area that may have Ring camera footage,” Flores said, hoping that can help them get a positive identification on the suspect.
Residents that have any information or Ring footage to share can contact the Escalon Police Department non-emergency number at 209-838-7093; or contact San Joaquin County Crimestoppers at 1-866-60-CRIME (1-866-602-7463) to place an anonymous tip.
San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Justice, DOJ, assisted with the investigation on scene Monday night; none of the other employees and no customers were injured.
Flores said authorities believe the suspect left the city following the incident, perhaps getting in to a car parked away from the scene.
“We’re still working on it,” Flores added on Tuesday morning, Oct. 11. “We are still actively looking for the suspect.”
He was described as being about five feet, eight inches tall and weighing between 165 and 175 pounds, a medium complexioned black male adult with dreadlocks on one side of his head, a mustache and a goatee.