Man arrested in Monday's deadly holdup at mini-mart in Madera

Courtesy: Fresno Co. Sheriff's Office

An arrest is made in a two day old Madera County murder case. Fresno County Sheriff's deputies get credit for an assist. Lawmen from both counties say good police work made the difference.

The first break in the case happened just minutes after the deadly holdup at the Tackle Box gas station in Madera. One of the men seen in the surveillance video was arrested on an unrelated charge near Kerman. Armitraj Singh Athwal got his truck stuck in the dirt on the side of the road early Tuesday morning. Fresno County Sheriff's deputies drove by and investigated.

They say the 21 year old Modesto man appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Deputies found guns in his car plus cash and cigarettes taken in the deadly holdup. He was booked into the county jail in Fresno.

One of the deputies saw social media reports on Tuesday and Sgt. D. Rippe says that changed everything. "Several things from the surveillance video matched. In the surveillance video he was wearing a blue bandana. He recalled seeing that blue bandana in the back pocket of his jeans." He quickly let the Madera County Sheriff's Office know that Athwal was in the Fresno jail.

Sheriff Jay Varney believes Athwal fired the shot that killed 20 year old Dharampreet Singh Jassar. The makeshift memorial for the store clerk everyone knew as Veer continues to expand with flowers and plants.

Young and old were touched by the clerk's death including Sheriff Varney. "Very unfortunate. I think it was a cowardly act to shoot the clerk on the way out the door after the clerk had been totally cooperative."

Varney says the red truck that got stuck was the getaway vehicle from Monday night's shooting.

Sheriff Varney is confident that his deputies will find the second person wanted in Monday night's shooting. If you have any information involving Monday night's deadly shooting at the Tackle Box mini-mart contact the Madera County Sheriff's Office at 559-675-7770.

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