New video could help police catch suspect in possible hate crime murder

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Police have released new video from the investigation into the stabbing of a Fresno store clerk on New Year's Day, a murder they're investigating as a possible hate crime.

Chief Jerry Dyer announced a $10,000 reward in the investigation. Detectives also showed Action News video of the suspect walking inside the store. Police said the suspect is probably in his late teens and he lurked outside the central Fresno store for a few minutes Friday, apparently waiting for customers to leave. Once the place was empty, he walked in, lured Gurcharan Singh Gill towards him, then started stabbing the clerk. He eventually tried to get into the cash register, and when he couldn't, he stole a few items, but Chief Dyer says it's clear the kid wanted to kill his victim. "I don't believe there is any question as to what his intent was," Dyer said. "He stabbed Mr. Gill multiple times in the chest area, repeatedly. And even as Mr. Gill backed away and attempted to fight him off and retreated, the suspect continued to stab Mr. Gill."

Police are looking into the possibility this was a hate crime, although Gill did not wear a turban like other Sikhs who have been attacked because of their appearance. "Convenience store employees are afraid and always leery that this could happen," said Sikh activist Ike Grewal.

Gill's family members tell Action News he could've retired, but he was working about 18 more months to put a son through medical school. Again, the suspect is in his late teens. Police said he's got a thin build and he's probably about 5'6" or 5'7". They said he walked to and from the store, so they've been checking with neighboring residents to see if they know him.

Police are also checking with school resource officers and gang experts to see if they can help.

Chief Dyer pleaded for the public's help on this investigation.

He said anyone who could commit such a vicious act of violence poses a real danger to the community.
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.