Patrons fled after a store manager hoping to get out in time to watch the Eagles-Chiefs game was shot and killed inside a Chester City Rite Aid late last night. Police are seeking a man and woman in connection with the homicide.
Chester police say they were dispatched shortly before 10 p.m. to the Rite Aid on the 2000 block of West 9th Street, near Highland Avenue. Upon arrival, they found the store manager suffering from a fatal gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced at the scene, according a police department press release.
The release said that, just prior to closing, patrons and employees heard a loud bang and rushed outside.
Police are seeking a white or light skinned woman in her mid to late twenties, wearing a red hooded jacket with white stripes down the sleeves, blue jeans and grey sneakers. She was accompanied by a black male in his late twenties to mid thirties wearing a white tee shirt over a black long sleeve top, rolled up blue jeans and black boots.
The victim was identified by his father as Jason McClay, 40, of Broomall. Bruce McClay said his son had started work at 7:30 a.m. Thursday but stayed late, although he hoped to get out in time for Thursday night's Eagles game.
Jason McClay was a graduate of Haverford High School where he played football. He studied criminal justice at Delaware County Community College and was a U.S. Navy veteran.
"He was one of the last crews before they retired the Kitty Hawk," said Bruce McClay.
His son liked "all the sports stuff" and was a fan of the Flyers and Eagles. He was Bruce McClay's "oldest son" of a large extended family with four brothers and one sister.
The store was closed Friday morning. Inside the door was a poster offering a $5,000 reward for information to solve an earlier robbery. The company, however, upped the reward.
David Mahan, regional Vice President, read a statement at the store announcing a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
"Today we are grieving the loss of a member of our Rite Aid family," Mahan said. He said employees would be offered grief counseling. "It's a tough day for Rite Aid."
Meanwhile, Willie Eugene King, a store regular, said he had applied for a job at the store and had met both managers. He did not know which one was the victim and came to the store in an effort to find out.
"Nobody wants to get hit by a bullet," King said. "This is like a war zone … It has that mentality in this city sometimes."
Chester police ask anyone with information to contact Det. Nelson Collins at (610) 447-8431 or CID Detective Dave Tyler at 610-891-4708.
Chester City Police Commissioner Joseph Bail, who had just returned from a Washington rally against gun violence, told press that police are investigating the shooting as a robbery and homicide.