STAR, N.C. (WGHP) — A small town and a Triad family are trying to heal from heartbreak after someone shot and killed a gas station clerk during a robbery.
53-year-old Laura Whitman was working her first shift at Quick Chek in Star. She previously worked at a Quick Chek in Candor but was transferred to the Star location recently.
Whitman’s daughter Courtney Rodriguez says her mom had no limit to her love. “Momma was the kind of person that would give you the shirt off her back,” said Rodriguez. “She was sweet, everybody loved her, anybody that came in and knew her. She was always, ‘hey how are you doing’ and would pick around with customers.”
Saturday night, Whitman never made it home from her shift at the gas station. Rodriguez had just gotten off work and was sitting down to relax when she got the news.
“My manager calls me and she’s like ‘are you okay?’ And I’m like ‘what are you talking about,'” said Rodriguez.
Her manager told her a man tried to rob the store just after 10 p.m. He jumped across the counter after she willingly opened the cash drawer, shot her, and then took more money and left.
“We’re looking into every lead we can possibly find,” said David Kime, chief of the Star Police Department. “Star is a small town and this is the hub.”
According to Kime, investigators have several suspects.
Rodriguez says her mom did everything right in this situation, gave the person the money they asked for and they took her life anyway. “I don’t want him out, he doesn’t deserve to be out, he doesn’t deserve to be free,” said Rodriguez.
Investigators remained on the scene Monday. The store is temporarily closed with no posted reopening time.
If you have any information on the incident you’re asked to call the Star Police Department.