Loved ones of murdered gas station clerk hope new robbery breathes new life into case
By Maggie Vespa. CREATED Mar 18, 2014
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A grisly gas station murder is back in the spotlight, after someone targeted the very same store early Tuesday morning.
9OYS obtained exclusive surveillance video of the latest break-in.
You can see the robber, with underwear on his head, smashing in a door, cutting himself according to police. He then steals lottery tickets and pours beer all over the store.
As bizarre as that footage is, the crime itself is chilling to loved ones of Erick Bridges.
It's been almost a year since the 22 year-old store clerk was stabbed and killed while on duty at the AM/PM store near Tanque Verde & Pantano.
Those who knew him hope this latest robbery breathes new life into, what they fear, is a cold case.
"He was 22 years old. He didn't get to live his life," said his fiance Christina Brown.
It was a senseless crime.
"Every day, every minute, Erick's on our minds," said AM/PM manager Jamie Ott.
It was committed in the early morning hours of Friday, May 17th by a man, composed enough to hide his face.
"I need closure," said Brown.
Ten months later, Erick Bridges' killer, who police say stabbed him repeatedly in the heart is on the loose, this as his store is back in the headlines.
"It's unnerving. It's concerning," Ott. "I worry about the safety of my staff every day."
This surveillance video, obtained exclusively by 9OYS, shows Tuesday morning's AM/PM assailant smashing in doors, rifling through lottery tickets, even dumping out beer.
While it's hard to tell if Tuesday morning's face bares much resemblance to May's, those who knew Bridges, including his fiance Christina, can't help but hope.
"Maybe this is the same dude and maybe he messed up. And you know maybe we can catch him," said Brown.
Now, she,- along side Erick's coworkers who keep a sign offering a reward in their window,worry their questions may never be answered.
Nearly a year has gone by and tips as to who took their fiance and friend are drying up.
"I'm just afraid that it is getting to be closer to a cold case and I don't want it to get there," said Brown.
Tucson police say they are still working this case, but the tips have slowed down.
They're getting ready for a big media push come the one year anniversary.
In the meantime, Ott says that $25,000 reward, offered by BP, may not be available much longer.
If you know anything, please call 9-1-1 or 88-CRIME.