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Clerk charged with attempted murder after trying to stop beer theft

Mariano Tejeda-Zuniga
Mariano Tejeda-Zuniga
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Updated: 8/26 2:13 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- A store clerk who said he was attempting to stop a beer robbery by firing a gun into the air instead shot the alleged robber in the head.

Mariano Tejeda-Zuniga has been charged with attempted murder and possession of a stolen firearm as a result of the 4 a.m. Sunday incident at a 7-Eleven store on Maryland Parkway near Sunrise Hospital.

A Metro police report indicated that Tejeda-Zuniga was the only clerk on duty, and he told detectives the store has been the target of repeated beer thefts.

Tejeda-Zuniga told Metro that he was helping a customer when a man came into the store, went to the cooler and took a 24-pack of Modelo and headed for the exit. The clerk chased the man out the front door and pulled a gun from his waistband. He said he was going to fire a shot into the air to warn the alleged robber, but a round unexpectedly discharged when he was pulling the slide back to load a bullet.

The shooting victim was 12 to 15 feet from the clerk when the gun discharged, and he fell to the ground. The arrest report says store surveillance video shows the incident and shows the victim being shot in the back.

Tejeda-Zuniga said he did not call Metro to report the incident because he was scared. He said he hid the gun in the store under a stack of cups.

The report says that Tejeda-Zuniga purchased the gun four days before the shooting from a man who was dumping trash at another convenience store near Lake Mead and Simmons in North Las Vegas, where Tejeda-Zuniga also works. He said he bought the gun to scare off anyone who might steal from the store.

The shooting victim was taken to Sunrise Hospital by private vehicle by two men who had been waiting for him in a car at the 7-Eleven. A security officer called Metro when the victim arrived at the hospital with a gunshot wound to his head.
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