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.
This store clerk was the father of a friend’s wife. Please RT…There’s a $10,000 reward 4info leading 2an arrest https://t.co/KovQpUDJ4a
— ☆Sandra R.S☆ (@WHRising) December 23, 2016
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.”