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Questions remain in fatal shooting of Lake Elsinore convenience store cashier

By in Press Enterprise on June 16, 2017

By Ali Tadayon

The day after a well-liked cashier at a Circle K in Lake Elsinore was killed at work in an early-morning shooting, the motive remained a mystery to the public Thursday.

James Curtis Coon, 26, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of shooting and killing a cashier at a Lake Elsinore convenience store. (Photo courtesy of Riverside County Sheriff’s Department)

James Curtis Coon, 26, was arrested Wednesday afternoon when a SWAT team went to his house on Driftwood Lane, about a mile from the convenience store.

He was booked into jail on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and felony robbery and burglary, and is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside. Charges could be filed Friday.

Riverside County sheriff’s officials declined to answer questions Thursday about what led to the shooting, whether the suspect and victim knew each other, why Coon was accused of attempted murder in addition to murder, and whether he is considered the lone suspect.

Circle K officials referred all inquiries to the Sheriff’s Department.

Eric Whitcomb, 46, of Wildomar had worked for 12 years at the store at 16331 Lakeshore Drive, and was remembered by customers as quiet but friendly and welcoming.

About 5:20 a.m. Wednesday, he was shot multiple times in what company officials called “a senseless act of violence.”

Circle K set up a GoFundMe.com account to help support Whitcomb’s family. By 5 p.m. Thursday, the campaign had raised more than $7,000.

Coon has no documented criminal record in Riverside County.

Staff writer Alex Groves contributed to this report.

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