A clerk at a 7-Eleven in Riverside was shot and killed in an apparent robbery early Friday morning, authorities said.
A customer walked in to the store at a gas station in the 6600 block of Indiana Avenue about 3:20 a.m. and found the clerk on the ground with a gunshot wound to his upper torso, Riverside Police Department Officer Ryan Railsback said.
Officers responded and pronounced the clerk dead at the scene.
The victim was a 28-year-old Fontana man, according to Riverside County coroner's officials. His name was not being released.
A friend who was at the scene said the clerk was a father who began working at the store about 8 months ago, shortly before his 7-month-old daughter was born, because he wanted to create a better life for her.
Railsback said investigators are looking into whether the killing is related to two other armed robberies at 7-Eleven stores in Moreno Valley and Perris.
No one was hurt in those robberies, which happened within hours of the fatal shooting in Riverside, according to police.
No description of the gunman was immediately available, but Railsback said officers were trying to obtain surveillance video from the store and from nearby businesses.
It's unclear how long the clerk had been left suffering from his wounds before the customer discovered him.
No further details were immediately available.