Tyler Dec knew something was wrong when he saw the flowers and candles in front of the 7-Eleven store on Milpitas Boulevard in Milpitas.
"I pulled up and I was like, 'What's going on here?' I saw the flowers and the candle and my friends over there told me that someone got shot here. It's unbelievable," Dec said, shaking his head.
He knew 67-year-old Mohammad Reza Sadeghzadeh, the overnight clerk, who was shot and killed early Saturday morning inside 7-Eleven. He was the first homicide of 2012 in Milpitas.
Dec is a college student and often bought coffee from Sadeghzadeh during late-night runs.
"He was a good guy," Dec said. "I mean it's really sad that this happened especially in town like Milpitas. I just really can't believe it."
Milpitas police released three photos taken from a 7-Eleven surveillance camera showing three hooded gunman, two of them wearing masks, running into the store.
Seconds later, the robbers shot and killed Sadeghzadeh. Detectives are hoping someone will recognize the suspects from the photos.
"All of our detectives have since dropped their caseloads are committed to helping solve this crime due to the heinous nature of it," Lt. Daryl Sequeria said.
The 7-Eleven is just two-tenths of a mile from the police station.
"So it just kind of shows you how brazen and willing how these suspects are to take risks to actually commit an armed robbery which eventually led to a homicide right down the street from the police department," Sequeria said.
A security officer now guards the front door of the 7-Eleven. The store wants to make sure its workers and customers feel safe.
"That's just horrible that it happened to him," Dec said. "Especially at the place where he works. You should always feel secure, especially with the police station right there."
7-Eleven is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.