Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Night Clerk Fatally Shot in Belleville Mother of Two Was Filling in for Co-Worker at Convenience Store; Two Robbers Get $77

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Night Clerk Fatally Shot in Belleville Mother of Two Was Filling in for Co-Worker at Convenience Store; Two Robbers Get $77

Article excerpt

A woman who had agreed to work an extra shift for a co-worker at a convenience store in Belleville was fatally shot in a robbery early Thursday.

One of two hold-up men went behind the counter and fired a point-blank shot into Sharon Bushong's head even though she apparently cooperated fully with the assailants' demands. They got away with $77 from the cash register.

"She didn't want to lose her job," said her mother, Charlotte Morgan of New Baden. "She lost her life instead."

The slaying took place at 12:48 a.m. Thursday at the Convenient Food Mart, 9618 West Main Street in Belleville, where Bushong, 34, of Belleville, had worked for only a few weeks.

Bushong was divorced and had two sons, Adam, 13, and Matt, 8.

"She was a sweet person and a good mother," Morgan said. She added that the killing had enraged her family.

Morgan said she and her husband, Howard, would rely on their religious faith to help them deal with their daughter's murder.

Belleville police and members of the area's Major Case Squad were trying to track down the assailants. They were using photos made by the store's video security system.

Gene Rickert, the clerk who had been scheduled to work the night shift, broke down and wept when told of his co-worker's slaying. He said the shock made it impossible to feel any relief at having escaped death himself.

The killing is the second within a year at a Convenient Food Mart in Belleville. The first was that of Jerry D. Blackwell Jr., 29, of Lebanon, a clerk at the company's store at 2709 West Main. In all, the company has four stores in Belleville.

Blackwell was gunned down there while working a night shift last Dec. 11, also apparently for no reason and despite four security cameras in plain sight.

Two teen-agers, Ranan A. Young, 18, and Orlando M. Gordon, 16, were charged three days later with that killing and are in the St. Clair County Jail in Belleville awaiting trial.

Sheriff's Capt. James Lay, deputy commander of the Major Case Squad, predicted that such killings at convenience stores would continue unless security was increased. …

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