Police release pictures of suspect in Hazleton robbery and homicide


HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — An investigation is intensifying Monday into an armed robbery and death investigation in Hazleton over the weekend.

Police say the armed robbery took place at Craig’s Food Mart on West Broad Street at around 9:30 Saturday night. Investigators say 911 received a call from a person inside the store asking for help. 

When they arrived, investigators say they learned that an armed robbery had taken place and found a body inside the store.

Police are calling this an ambush homicide and are looking for the public’s help in finding the unknown gunman.

Investigators detailed what allegedly happened inside Craig’s Food Mart on Saturday night. They are looking for a man who they say shot and killed 50-year-old Ashokkumar Patel who was working at the store. The Luzerne County coroner performed an autopsy and it shows he died from single gunshot.

The suspect got away with cash. He was wearing a red or orange Nike hooded sweatshirt and was driving a dark green Jeep Grand Cherokee from the years 2014 to 2018.

Police are also looking for a woman who was a customer in the store who is believed to be the last person in the store other than Mr. Patel and the suspect.

She was driving a white Ram Rebel pickup truck which has the rear license plate partially secured to the right top corner of the truck.

They believe she may have information that could help lead police to the unknown gunman.

Monday at an afternoon news conference, Hazleton Police and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s office released pictures from inside the store. They are looking for a male who they believe committed the homicide. You can watch the press conference in the video box below.

Reporter Andy Mehalshick will have more information on later editions of Eyewitness News.

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