Nearly two months after an esteemed cashier was fatally shot in the Lancaster convenience store where he worked, authorities announced that one boy has been arrested in connection with his death and identified a person of interest on Wednesday.
Deputies had been working since Feb. 19 to identify the two people seen on surveillance footage wearing cinched hoodies as they go in to rob the store on the 44400 block of Division Street, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.
But instead of robbing the store that morning, they shot multiple times at the 61-year-old clerk, John Ruh, striking him at least once, and left the store with nothing, investigators said.
Ruh, a U.S. Marines veteran, was highly regarded in the local community because of his warm nature, and would even offer to help out customers who couldn’t afford their merchandise, sheriff’s officials have said.
His longtime partner said she had asked him to quit over concern for his safety after previous incidents at the store, but despite not needing the income Ruh felt it was important for him to provide for his family. He is survived by a son and six grandchildren, as well as five of his partner’s children he helped raise.
A male juvenile has been arrested and charged in connection with Ruh’s death, authorities said, but officials are still searching for a second suspect.
That person has not been identified, and the Sheriff’s Department is not releasing further information about the juvenile’s identity due to his age. A $30,000 reward is tied to the perpetrators’ arrest and conviction.
Investigators have, however, identified a person of interest with whom they hope to speak: Deonta Darrell Johnson, 21.
Johnson’s whereabouts are unknown. He is described as a black man with brown eyes and black hair, measuring 5 feet 11 inches and weighing 220 pounds.
He has a tattoo on his neck and frequents the East Lancaster and Los Angeles areas, sheriff’s officials said.
Anyone with information about the crime, suspects or person of interest can contact sheriff’s homicide investigators at 323-890-5500, or submit an anonymous tip via Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.