Standing outside the empty Quiznos restaurant on Arrow Highway Wednesday afternoon, Sheriff’s Homicide investigators asked for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of gunning down the restaurant’s owner.
Authorities released a sketch of the man believed to have robbed the small Quiznos restaurant, 1034 W. Arrow Hwy., nestled amongst empty store fronts and other businesses June 2.
“we’re hoping the sketch we’re providing will stimulate the community to identify the suspect,” said Sheriff’s Homicide Lt. David Coleman.
Deputies, equipped with flyers showing the suspect sketch, were going to canvass the immediate area and ask for help from residents and business owners in helping to identify the robber.
The suspect entered the restaurant just before 3:20 p.m. and demanded cash from 62-year-old store owner Pravin Patel, who relinquished an undisclosed amount of money from the register.
The suspect and witnesses inside the restaurant reportedly exchanged some words during the robbery.
“He said that if Mr. Patel hadn’t provided the money quickly enough that he might actually harm the customers, which compelled Mr. Patel to cooperate as much as he did,” Coleman said.
A struggle ensued after Patel followed the suspect outside. The robber fired his handgun, a bullet struck Patel in the torso, authorities said.
Patel was airlifted to an area trauma center where he later died. The suspect was seen fleeing behind a nearby Walgreen’s Pharmacy and southwest towards Lone Hill Avenue.
“It has shaken this community quite a bit. The owner was a local citizen, known by many. This is very unusual for this area,” said San Dimas Sheriff’s Station Cpt. Duane Harris.
Investigators would not say specifically how much money Patel gave up to the robber.
For an unknown reason, video surveillance cameras nearby the shooting were not functioning, Coleman said.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have approved a $20,000 reward in exchange for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of the murder suspect.
The suspect is described as a Male Hispanic or Caucasian, in his mid 20s, 6 feet tall, 180 pounds and is described as tall and skinny. He was wearing a baseball hat, black t-shirt and plaid shorts.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Information can be provided anonymously by calling “Crime Stoppers” at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or at lacrimestoppers.org.