Keyes grocery clerk shot in leg in robbery

KEYES -- Sheriff's investigators Wednesday night were looking for a gunman who shot a grocery store clerk during a robbery earlier in the day.

The robbery occurred about 12:20 p.m. at the Keyes' Super Market, in the 5400 block of Seventh Street, just east of Highway 99.

The robber walked into the store, approached the clerk, pointed a handgun at him and demanded money, said deputy Royjindar Singh, a sheriff's spokesman.

He said there were no customers in the store during the robbery, and only one other employee, who was in the rear of the building.

Before the clerk could comply with the robber's orders and reach into the register for cash, the robber shot him in the left leg, Singh said.

The injured man, screaming in pain, limped away as the robber ordered him at gunpoint to open the cash register. The robber chased the victim around the register before the clerk escaped to the rear of the store.

The robber then went to the cash register, opened it and took an undisclosed amount of cash before leaving.

Shortly after, the clerk returned to the register and called 911 to report the robbery and his gunshot wound, while the second store clerk walked outside. Singh said, however, the witnesses did not see how the robber left the area or in which direction.

He said the clerk was taken by ambulance to a Modesto hospital, where he was treated and is expected to recover.

Detectives are looking for witnesses, especially those who might have seen the robber flee after the shooting.

Sheriff's investigators described the robber as an Asian man in his early to mid-20s, weighing about 150 pounds and 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall.

Singh said the robber was wearing a dark-colored hooded sweat shirt or jacket and appeared to be wearing something to cover the lower portion of his face, possibly a mask.

The Sheriff's Department asks anyone with information about this robbery to call CrimeStoppers at 521-4636. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at rahumada@modbee.com or 578-2394.