on June 29, 2013 - 9:35 AM
, updated June 29, 2013 at 2:50 PM
The only clue left behind by a man who killed a Toys R Us store manager is a black and gold baseball cap commemorating the 2007 NCAA basketball tournament champion University of Florida Gators. The victim was found in his office in the store near McKinley Mall in Hamburg early Saturday morning, Hamburg police said.
Police had not identified the 35-year-old store manager as of Saturday night.
Officials said employees who arrived at work at 5:45 a.m. Saturday discovered him seriously wounded after he did not respond to radio calls. They called police. The manager was taken to Mercy Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Authorities believe the attack happened between 4:40 a.m. and 5:45 a.m. and was carried out by one man. They do not believe the attacker is a store employee.
Police were still determining whether any items were stolen from the store, located at McKinley Parkway and Milestrip Road.
Surveillance video, police said, shows a man wearing the Florida cap entering the store and the manager’s office at 4:36 a.m. The surveillance system was then disabled from the office at 4:43 a.m., according to police.
The police described the suspect only as a man of unknown race, about 5 feet 10 inches. The only distinguishing characteristic is the cap, which reads “CHAMPIONS” above the Gators’ logo. A fiery basketball is depicted on the side of the cap’s bill. Police circulated a photo of the cap on Facebook.
Police would not say how the victim was killed.
Preliminary questions with employees did not point to any known enemies of the store manager. Police are still trying to determine a possible motive.
“We’ll be here as long as it takes, until we’re done,” Detective Scott Kashino said.
Throughout Saturday morning, employees clad in red collared shirts and khaki pants gathered with friends and relatives around the Toys R Us. The perimeter of the building was cordoned off with yellow police tape. About 30 people assembled. They declined to answer reporters’ questions.
They hugged each other and cried. Around 1 p.m., a woman drove up in a blue sedan and made an announcement, and the crowd dispersed.
Police, meanwhile, examined the automatic sliding doors to the store, sorted through the contents of trash cans and investigated a dark green Ford Escort, though they did not know whether the suspect fled on foot or in a vehicle.
Would-be Toys R Us customers drove up throughout the morning with their children, only to be turned away by the police line. It was not known when the store will reopen.
Hamburg police declined to reveal other details.
Anyone with information about the hat or the crime is asked to call Hamburg Police at 648-5111.
WGRZ-TV, citing Rural/Metro Medical Services, reported that the victim was taken to Mercy Hospital with multiple stab wounds. Rural/Metro refused to comment when contacted by The News.