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Police still seeking man who killed Sikh store clerk in Modesto

An increasing cause of injury and death in the workplace is violence. That violence may be perpetrated by fellow employees, customers or others who enter a business's premises.

This month, a 32-year old man who had worked at Hatch Food and Gas in Modesto for less than a month was stabbed to death. This occurred shortly after he refused to sell cigarettes to a man who did not present acceptable identification. The killer has not yet been apprehended.

According to another clerk who was working with the victim, when his co-worker refused to sell the man cigarettes, following store policy, the man hurled racial insults at the Sikh man, swore at him and threatened to return.

Surveillance video reportedly captured the man waiting outside the gas station approximately half an hour later when the employee was locking up. He reportedly stabbed him and left him there. He passed away hours later in a hospital.

Despite what the victim's co-worker said, police have still not publicly stated a motive for the killing. However, the Sikh Coalition has asked Modesto Police to consider labeling it as a hate crime. The man's death was the third killing of a person of Indian origin in this state in less than a week. The victim, who had his own family here, was also helping support his family back in India.

Businesses can't prevent all cases of workplace violence. However, they have an obligation to help ensure their employees' safety to the best of their ability. If you have been injured or have lost a loved one due to violence in the workplace, it may be wise to seek legal guidance to help determine what steps you can take.

Source: Opposing Views, "Report: Store Clerk Killed For Not Selling Cigarettes," Erik Kindel, May 09, 2017

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