Nassau County police Homicide Squad detectives are investigating whether Wednesday’s fatal shooting of a Jericho gas station clerk is related to two armed robberies that occurred two days prior, authorities said.
The victim in the most recent case was identified as 56-year-old Hany Awad of Levittown, Insp. Kenneth Lack, the department’s chief spokesman, told reporters Thursday during a news conference at police headquarters in Mineola.
A customer discovered Awad’s lifeless body behind the counter at the BP gas station on Jericho Turnpike shortly after 9 p.m., police said. Awad suffered a bullet wound to the abdomen, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Lack declined to say what, if anything, was taken from the gas station during the incident.
The shooting may be related to two armed robberies at gas stations in New Hyde Park and Thomaston, both of which occurred less than an hour apart on Monday, but police have yet to establish a connection. Lack said investigators are looking into whether the three incidents are linked. In each case, at least one round was fired, and the target was a BP gas station, police said.
In the New Hyde Park incident, police said a masked assailant entered the gas station on Jericho Turnpike at 5:45 p.m. and pressured the clerk into handing over cash by firing into the counter. Less than an hour later, a suspect fitting the same description fired a round into the wall before fleeing with an undermined amount of cash, police said.
Investigators are reviewing surveillance from the crime scenes and are checking ballistics to see if the rounds used in all three incidents match.
Police have yet to release a suspected motive in the fatal shooting.
The suspect in Monday’s armed robberies is described as a Hispanic man, approximately 5-foot, 7-inches tall, 150 pounds, wearing a dark jacket and pants, dark gloves and a dark mask.
Lack urged gas station attendants to comply with demands if met by an armed assailant, and to make sure surveillance equipment is properly functioning.