WAUKESHA -- Waukesha police say a man is in custody as of Thursday, May 31st, in connection with the murder of a Waukesha gas station clerk. FOX6 News spoke with gas station owner Shahbaz Qureshi who is happy police have someone in custody.
Early Tuesday morning, May 29th, a customer walked into the Petro Mart near Broadway and Pleasant in Waukesha and found 56-year-old Nayyer Rana on the gas station floor. He had been shot twice. Police said it may have been a robbery gone bad.
Within 24 hours of the homicide, Brookfield and Elm Grove police arrested an individual who may have been involved in the crime. A handgun was recovered from a Waukesha residence in connection with this arrest. It is now being examined by experts at the Wisconsin Crime Lab.
Qureshi feared it'd be impossible to find the person responsible for the tragedy. He also feared it was his fault. Qureshi says the store didn't have any cameras on Tuesday because of a remodeling project.
"I feel so bad. I was praying they can get this guy," Qureshi said.
The suspect's name is being withheld pending a decision on charges.
News of a break in the case provided relief for Petro Mart customers like Elizabeth Schubert.
"It makes me feel a whole lot safer. I work at a bar down the street and I actually refused to walk to my car alone last night, just knowing I was a younger girl walking alone with cash," Schubert said.
Schubert says she used to come to the Petro Mart every night for gas and soda because it was open. "When they didn't know who it was, at first I thought, I'm never coming back here because I didn't know it was safe, but now I'm coming back," Schubert said.
The Rana family expressed their appreciation to law enforcement Thursday, releasing a statement saying, in part: "The family is relieved that a suspect is now in custody. The family has complete confidence in the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office and believes that the individual who committed this senseless crime will receive the justice he deserves, through this process."
The Rana family had offered a $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Police say the arrest was made before a single tip came in.
The Petro Mart was robbed two weeks before Rana's death, but police say it's unclear at this time whether Rana's murder was linked to the previous robbery.