Franklinton Gas Station Clerk Slain in Robbery Attempt as City Reports 50th Homicide

Police in Columbus said that a 24-year-old gas station clerk was killed during an attempted robbery in Franklinton early Thursday morning. This was the 50th murder reported in Columbus in 2023, which is more than last year.

At 12:50 a.m. on Thursday, there was a report of a shooting at the Shell gas station at 1000 W. Broad St. The worker was taken to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, where he died from his injuries. His name was Saiesh Veera.

Detectives are talking to several people who were at or near the gas station when the shooting happened.

Columbus police also showed a picture of the person they think is the suspect that was taken by the gas station’s security cameras. Detectives are asking anyone who knows who or where that person is to call them at 614-645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-TIPS.

Saiesh Veera Was a Well-known Cricket Player in the Columbus Area

A friend of Veera’s wrote in an online fundraiser that money is being raised to send his body back to India, where his mother still lives.

According to what I read online, Veera came to the United States to go to college. In a few weeks, he would be able to quit his job as a clerk.

The fundraiser said, “He came to the U.S. like any other middle-class guy with hopes to improve his family’s situation after his father died two years ago.” “He was always willing to help people in any situation and was such a sport on the cricket field.”

The fundraiser said that Veera is well known in the Columbus cricket community and was a “brilliant cricketer and a great friend.”

Within the first hour after the fundraiser was put online Thursday, more than $42,000 had been raised to help pay for sending Veera’s body overseas.

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This Year, 50 People Have Been Killed in Columbus

Even though the number of killings in Columbus went from a record high of 205 in 2021 to a record low of 140 in 2022, the rate of violent deaths in the city is higher than it was at this point in 2022. As of April 20, 2022, 30 people had already died.

On April 4, 2021, the 50th murder in the city was recorded.

Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said that the rise in crime is “truly disturbing” on Thursday.

He said, “We need to stay alert and use all of our tools and resources to face this challenge head-on.”

Ginther said that there were eight homicides in the first three months of the year that were caused by domestic abuse. This shows how important the city’s safety plan is. Ginther and other city leaders said in January that the drop in homicides and other violent crimes in 2022 was proof that the city’s tactics are working.

“We’re doing what we can to make sure our streets are safe, like setting up the first-ever Office of Violence Prevention, but we need everyone in the community to step up and do their part.”

Ginther also said that the city will keep spending money on programs for kids, classes for new police recruits, and other projects.

Kate Pishotti, who was just named Director of Public Safety, said that the violence is “unacceptable” and “clearly driven by easy access to guns.”

Pishotti said that Columbus police have already taken off the street 1,000 guns in 2023, which is more than they did in 2022.

Pishotti said, “Our detectives are working around the clock to get violent criminals off the streets. So far, they have solved 66% of this year’s murders and 15 murders from previous years.” “This is because the cops did a great job and more people helped out. We ask our friends to keep giving investigators these important tips, not just after a violent crime has happened, but also before, to help us stop another tragic death that could have been prevented.”

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