LAKE ELSINORE: Man charged in convenience store murder

LAKE ELSINORE – A man accused of killing a 47-year-old Lake Elsinore convenience store clerk during a robbery was charged today with murder and other felonies.

James Curtis Coon, 26, of Lake Elsinore is accused in the slaying of Eric Whitecomb of Wildomar, who was gunned down about 5:25 a.m. Wednesday at a Circle K in the 16300 block of Lakeshore Drive.

Along with the first-degree murder count, Coon is charged with attempted murder, robbery, burglary and a special circumstance allegation of killing in the course of a robbery. He’s being held without bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside and is slated to make his initial court appearance this afternoon at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.

Whitecomb, who had worked at the store for more than a decade, was reportedly wrapping up his shift when the robbery occurred. He was shot multiple times and died at the scene. Coon, who has no documented prior felony convictions, was arrested late that afternoon.

Another individual was in the line of fire, but authorities did not state whether the victim was a co-worker or customer.

The company released a statement Wednesday expressing sadness over  “the passing of our longtime cashier and member of our team who was killed … in a senseless act of violence. We are fully cooperating with the authorities in bringing this crime to justice.”

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