Lake Elsinore

Circle K Cashier Fatally Shot in Lake Elsinore Was ‘Part of This Community'

No arrests were reported after the shooting early Wednesday at a Circle K store

A 26-year-old man was arrested in the shooting death of longtime employee who was killed Wednesday at a Riverside County convenience store.

The store cashier was killed early Wednesday at a Circle K store in the 16300 block of Lakeshore Drive in Lake Elsinore. Riverside County sheriff's investigators did not provide details about the crime, but nearby residents reported the sound of gunfire.

"I heard boom, boom, boom, boom, then he paused," resident Diana Trent told the Press-Enterprise. "There was seven shots altogether."

A front window at the store, located in a strip mall, was shattered. No arrests were reported Wednesday morning.

Early Thursday afternoon, the sheriff's department announced the arrest of 26-year-old James Coon at his Lake Elsinore home near the store. Details about the arrest and suspect were not immediately available.

In a statement, the company said, "We are saddened by the passing of our longtime cashier and member of our team who was fatally killed this morning in a senseless act of violence at our Lake Elsinore store. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends and we are fully cooperating with the authorities in bringing this crime to justice. We have also extended full support to our employees at the store and in the area."

Family members and store employees identified the victim as Eric Whitcomb. He was described as a nice co-worker who worked at the store for 12 years and liked to read books before starting his shift.

"He's been here forever," said Alan Rodriguez, whose wife is a former employee at the store. "He's part of this community. He would sit there and read his book. Everyone knew him for that. He was nice to everybody."

A GoFundMe page was established to raise money to help support Whitcomb's family.

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