Reward Offered for Suspect Who Set Store Clerk at Gas Station on Fire

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
December 23, 2016 Updated: December 23, 2016

BURNEY, Calif.—An attacker sprayed an attendant at a California gas station with a flammable liquid and set him on fire, killing the man and launching an ongoing manhunt, authorities said Thursday.

A $10,000 reward has been posted for help finding the assailant seen on security video Wednesday evening entering the business near Burney, a quiet logging community at the northern end of the state.

Friends and co-workers of 54-year-old victim David Wicks gathered Thursday at the gas station and described him as someone who always had a smile on his face and never had a bad thing to say.

“I can’t imagine somebody, knowing Dave, why would anybody do this?” tearful co-worker Kris Cantrell told The Record Searchlight newspaper.

Surveillance video shows the attacker wearing yellow rain gear, black hoodie and gloves, said Shasta County sheriff’s Lt. Anthony Bertain.

Investigators found a bicycle outside the gas station, he said.

Arriving paramedics found Wicks with severe burns at the Rocky Ledge Shell Station. An air ambulance flew him to a hospital, where he died.

Secret Witness of Shasta County, a nonprofit organization, posted the reward seeking tips that lead to an arrest and conviction.

Devinder Sahota, a co-owner of the gas station, said Wicks’ wife, Sonia, managed the business.

“We’ve never been in a situation like this before,” Sahota told the newspaper. “Our primary goal is to console Sonia.”