Police Look For Leads In Fatal Spencer Shooting


SPENCER, NC - Spencer police are still searching for the person who killed a 20-year-old convenience store clerk on Friday morning.

Dee Rios De La Cruz was shot and killed during an armed robbery at the Latin Mix convenience store on Salisbury Road in Spencer.

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Officers set up a checkpoint near the store on Monday morning, around the time when the attack happened. Each driver was told of the shooting and then asked if they saw anything unusual.

"We're hoping that by providing that kind of information out face-to-face that somebody may remember something," Sgt. Eric Ennis said.

Police said they did establish some leads during the checkpoint that they plan to pursue.

A small memorial sits just inside the front door of the convenience store, along with funeral service announcements that employees hung.

"She was just a great person, a great sister and a great friend," said David Rios, the victim's 17-year-old brother. He also works at the convenience store and said he helped his sister get the job six months ago.

He said he last saw his sister as she left for work on Friday.

"I didn't really talk to her that morning," he said. "She just said, 'I'm leaving.' I thought she'd come home."

Police said Rios De La Cruz opened the store at about 7:30 a.m. and a little more than an hour later, she hit a panic button that alerted officers. By the time they arrived, police said Rios had been shot. She later died at a local hospital.

Store owner Liliana Spears said $100 was taken from the register.

"It's unimaginable that somebody would take someone's life for any amount of money. But especially that little bit of money," Spears said.

Police have the surveillance video from the store and are reviewing it, but are not releasing it. Police Chief M.T. James said the video is critical to the investigation.

A local bail bondsman has put up a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-639-5245.

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