Thursday, January 23, 2014

Yosef Tulu, Ethiopian gas station clerk murdered

GARLAND, Texas -

Police are investigating the murder of a store clerk in Garland early Tuesday morning.

The shooting happened at the 7-Eleven on Firewheel Parkway, south of the President George Bush Turnpike about 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Police said a delivery man called 911 to report finding the clerk dead behind the counter.

The victim was Yosef Tulu, 31, of Dallas, according to police. 7-Eleven officials said he was working to save money for his wedding this spring, and he had dreams of becoming a nurse.

Robbery was likely the motive, but police would not comment on how much, if any, money was taken.

Surveillance cameras captured the attacker as he entered the store. He charged the counter toward Tulu.

The gunman appeared to use a hunting rifle-style gun with a scope and was wearing a wrap or hood over his head.

Police only released surveillance video of the suspect coming and going; not video of the shooting because it is too graphic.

There's no audio on the video, so police don't know what was said, but they do say it shows Tulu complying completely with the gunman's demands before being shot multiple times.

The killer left with a bag in hand.

7-Eleven said it was "shocked and deeply saddened over the random shooting" of Tulu. Tulu had worked for 7-Eleven since 2012 and joined the staff of the Garland store in December, according to the company.

"Yosef was very well liked and a happy person," said Margaret Chabris, 7-Eleven Director of Corporate Communications.

"Anything you ask him, he just…show you happiness," said Tulu's coworker Abeba Woldemeskel, who says Tulu was like a little brother to her.

Woldemeskel says they never felt threatened working at the store, and there were never any robberies that she could recall.

Regular customers at the store say Tulu wasn't just someone behind the counter.

 "Last night when I left, we both looked at each other, and I said ‘You have a very blessed night,'" said customer Lauren Morgan. "And he looked back and said, ‘You too, ma'am. Take care.' And he walked around from the counter and gave me a hug."

Investigators are now reviewing motion-activated surveillance video to see if there is anything that can lead them to the murderer.

Oak Farms Dairy is offering a $10,000 reward for information that would lead to an arrest.

People with information are asked to call Garland Crime Stoppers at 972-272-8477 or email at