It’s been two days since the shocking crime and yet police have little to go on.
Why would someone walk into a gas station, set the well-liked attendant on fire and leave him to die?
Authorities have no motive, no suspects — and a $10,000 reward in the case hasn’t helped.
The shocking crime, captured in a 15-second surveillance video, took place Wednesday evening at a Shell station near the logging community of Burney in northern California.
The video shows a masked man, in yellow rain gear with a black hoodie and gloves, walk into the store. He sprays the victim, 54-year-old David Wicks, and floor with a flammable liquid, lights him on fire and walks out from behind the store counter.
The attacker left on bicycle. One matching the description was found a few blocks away.
Paramedics arrived to find Wicks badly burned. He could only nod yes or no to their questions, Lt. Troy Clegg of the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office said at a news conference Thursday.
Medics asked Wicks whether he was intentionally targeted and he nodded yes, Clegg said. But Wicks couldn’t offer any more information.
He was airlifted to a hospital, where he died.
“It’s horrible. I really can’t think of anybody that would ever do this to him,” customer Michael Lyons told CNN affiliate KHSL-TV in Chico.
Another customer told the station he was the type of person who was always smiling and made others feel better.
“I would see him regularly coming here and he just was always smiling,” Sharon Hanson recalled. “We all have bad days and we wake-up on the wrong side of the bed but he always made you feel better.”
Secret Witness, which allows residents to call in tips anonymously, has offered a $10,000 reward for information.