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Murray convenience store clerk found shot behind counter

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MURRAY — Customers at a neighborhood convenience store early Wednesday discovered a friendly, well-known clerk behind the counter, lying on the floor with a gunshot wound.

Just after the store opened at 6 a.m., customers who walked into Lee Mart, 5909 S. 700 West, initially didn't see David Marsh, 62, as they looked around the store, said Murray police detective Kenny Bass. But after they spotted a cash register tray in the aisle, they found the 62-year-old store clerk on the floor behind the counter.

Marsh was shot once in the upper torso, Bass said. He also had an obvious head injury.

Surveillance footage released by police shows two men dressed in black hooded sweatshirts and red bandanas over their faces run into the store at 5:37 a.m. Wednesday, both armed with handguns. Marsh can be seen at the cash register, scrambling as he opens it.

Jimmy Lee, a member of the Lee family who owns the market, believes the two men had been "scoping out" Marsh as he prepared to open the store.

"He had gone through his morning routine, putting the mats down," Lee said. "They noticed he went into the back, (and) that's when they rushed in."

The men forced Marsh out of the back room and to the register, which he emptied. As they rushed out the store moments later, Marsh threw the empty register tray toward the second man. He turned and fired, striking Marsh.

"It's just a shame because they already had the money. They didn't need to shoot him," Lee said.

Marsh, who has worked at the convenience store for more than 25 years, was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. The clerk was initially able to communicate with the people who found him, but Bass said he did not know what he said.

The two men made off with an undisclosed amount of cash, Bass said. Anyone with information about the men is asked to call Murray police at 801-840-4000.

Lee said the store has experienced a few armed robberies over the years, "but nothing like this, nothing this violent."

Sanh Ly, who owns Lee Mart, was concerned Wednesday that not even security cameras and patrols by Murray police could prevent such an attack.

"I feel angry. I feel frustrated, but what can I do?" Ly said.

Through the day, concerned neighbors visited the store to ask about Marsh, signing a homemade card wishing Marsh a full recovery. Marsh underwent surgery Wednesday morning, Lee said.

Steve Fidel, who lives in the neighborhood, said Marsh was well known to customers. As word of the violent robbery spread, residents came to the store asking about the clerk.

"He's the first one to have the paper out in the morning and tell you what's going on that day. Friendliest guy you'd ever want to meet. I think people would come to the store for just to have a chance to have Dave smile at them and get them on their way with a happy thought," Fidel said.

Other community members shared their concerns online for Lee Mart, which for many has become part of their daily routine, and its clerks. In online comments to reports of the shooting on KSL.com and deseretnews.com, many shared appreciation for Marsh's considerate nature and their hopes for his recovery.

Commenters said Marsh greets them every morning, remembers their children's names and asks how they are doing.

"That is so horrible to hear that someone could be so cold as to do something like this to one of the nicest, most sweet person you could hope to greet you as you walk through the doors," wrote one individual. "In fact, I was just in there (Tuesday) morning, and he was kind enough to give me his paper because they were sold out. My prayers go out to all involved."

Donations for Marsh can be dropped off in a jar at Lee Mart or at any U.S. Bank branch, according to Lee.

Contributing: Mary Richards, Sandra Yi

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam