SALINAS, Calif. - A savage killing that's shaken the community. That's what police are calling an attempted armed robbery that's turned into a homicide investigation.
Salinas police are showing NewsChannel 5 surveillance video from inside the convenience store where it happened. Police are asking for the public's help, by identifying these two suspects by their body language.
Investigators said surveillance video from Hot Stop Market is all they have to go on at this point. No other evidence was left behind. Despite the family's initial wishes, the video is being made public, in hopes of enticing anyone with information to come forward.
In the video, police describe the shooter as 5'4" man, a stocky build using a large frame revolver. Police said the bullet misses the victims, but hits a display with butane fuel, causing a small explosion. You can see the store products fly off the shelves. Moments later, the suspect shoots all three victims several times because of its graphic nature we've chosen not to show that video. Police said even other criminals would find it offensive.
"When the victims were doing nothing but cowering in fear with hands up, huddled down, trying to be as cooperative as they could, getting beat and shot. It makes no sense in any way to anyone," said Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin.
Police said criminals who kill in cold blood tend to repeat their pattern. Family members were very upset the video was being released. But those in the Korean community said they've since come to understand it may help police in their search for the suspects.
"People in Salinas, they have to be aware of this. So we understand that it's hard for them to really release all those horrible things on video. But I think we need to see that so we actually see what happened and then we have to do something about it," said community member Young Oh.
Police said the suspect in the white hoodie is about 6-feet tall, thin build, was holding a box cutter and may have an injured right hand. The other suspect had an unusual old western style revolver. Two victims survived the attack, while 62-year-old Sook Mi Oh died.
"She just tried to make out her American dream and now what happened. So, it's just bad," Oh said.
Investigators said any little bit of information is helpful. They're asking people to call the crime tip line anonymously at 1-800-78-CRIME.
Sook Mi Oh's brother-in-law has set up a donation account with Wells Fargo Bank. If you'd like to donate to help her family with costs, the account number is 7144-673-543. The account is under the name Yong Yon Oh.