2 Suspects In Columbus Store Clerk’s Death Arrested

Two teens were arrested in Dayton after allegedly killing a 34-year-old store clerk in Columbus.(Photo: Flickr / Rudy Juanito)
Two teens were arrested in Dayton after allegedly killing a 34-year-old store clerk in Columbus.(Photo: Flickr / Rudy Juanito)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two teens wanted on murder charges in the slaying of a convenience store clerk during a robbery and considered possible suspects in three other shootings have been arrested, authorities said Saturday.

The 17-year-old and 18-year-old males from Columbus were arrested Saturday morning in Dayton, Columbus police Sgt. Rich Weiner said. Both teens were being sought on warrants charging them with murder in the death Wednesday of Imran Ashgar in Columbus. It was not clear whether the charges would be handled in juvenile court, in which case The Associated Press generally doesn’t identify suspects by name.

Weiner said the three other shootings that the teens will be questioned about include two in the Columbus area and one that occurred Saturday morning at a truck stop in Madison County west of Columbus. A man at the truck stop was shot in the head and had his car taken early Saturday shortly after a State Highway Patrol trooper gave the teen suspects a ride, dropping them off at the truck stop shortly before that shooting, authorities said.

The teens were later located at a house in Dayton and arrested without incident, police said.

The man shot at the truck stop was not immediately identified, but was expected to survive, police said. Messages left for the Madison County sheriff were not immediately returned, and a dispatcher said no other information was available.

Sgt. Jeff Shane, of the West Jefferson post of the State Highway Patrol, was the trooper who gave the teens a ride to the truck stop, patrol spokeswoman Lt. Anne Ralston said. Shane, a 29-year-veteran, has been placed on administrative duty pending an internal investigation to determine if any patrol policies were violated, according to Ralston.

Normal procedure calls for troopers to pat down anyone being given a ride in a patrol car and check their names for any outstanding warrants, but it appears that the two teens weren’t checked or patted down, she said.

“This is a tragedy for all involved,” Ralston said.

Ralston said the teen suspects had been walking along the interstate ramp at Rt. 42 and I-70 near the truck stop, and that’s where the state trooper had contact with them and picked them up.

“We will be doing a complete and thorough investigation to determine what happened,” she said.

Columbus police had said Friday that warrants were filed for the arrest of the two teens in Ashgar’s death.

Authorities say Ashgar was shot during the robbery at the Convenient Plus Food Mart on Columbus’ east side. Two other employees who were at the store were not hurt.

Surveillance video shows both the robbers brandishing handguns. Ashgar was unarmed.

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