A Mississippi man was charged and held without bail for the execution-style murder of a Tupelo store clerk.
Chris Copeland, 26, was charged with capital murder on Sept. 13 at the Tupelo Municipal Court. Copeland was captured on surveillance camera robbing a Chevron station at Cliff Gookin Boulevard and South Thomas Street on Sept. 11, police said
He is seen demanding the cashier, Parmvir Singh, 33, to hand over money before ordering him to kneel on the floor. Copeland then hops over the counter and shoots Singh in the back of the head execution style.
“The clerk is very gracious and even gave him a stack of money he didn’t ask for. He opened the safe for him and gave him a bank bag,” Tupelo Police detective Wes Kloac told Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. “[Copeland] then walked up behind Mr. Singh and, at point blank range, executed him.”
Police responded to the scene at around 9:30 a.m. Singh was taken to the North Mississippi Medical Center emergency room in grave condition. He was pronounced dead six hours after the shooting.
Copeland, who reportedly has an extensive criminal history, was arrested hours after the incident at his last known address. He has previously been charged with burglary and larceny in the past and was reportedly on probation during the shooting.
“With 27 years in law enforcement, this may be one of the worst ones I’ve ever seen,” Police Chief John Quaka told The Post Millennial. “The victim was literally executed in the back of the head inside his store where he was trying to make a living. It is just absolutely outrageous. The prosecutor said it best — ‘it’s monstrous.’”
On Sept. 17, hundreds of community members gathered outside the gas station for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of Singh and celebrate his life.
“He came here just to get a better life,” Singh’s friend and relative Gagan reportedly said. “You know, that’s why everybody comes to America, to do better. He came for the American dream. But his dream was taken away.”
Singh, who was an only son, moved to the U.S. to support his family in India. He hoped to one day bring his parents to America, according to Gagan. His body will be flown back to his family in Kapurthala, Punjab, on Tuesday.
“We’re all hurting. Parmvir was a good person, a really nice, decent person. He just wanted to work in this country, meet a wife and have a business. Don’t we all have a right to go to work and come home safe no matter what you do?” State Sen. Chad McMahan said at the vigil.
McMahan encouraged attendees to ask for each other’s names and to hold a stranger’s hand.
“Let’s remember we’re all, at the end of the day, people,” he added. “We’ve all got families and we’re all just trying to get through life together.”
Featured Image via The Post Millennial