Candlelight vigil for Waukena market owner killed in attempted robbery

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WEUKENA, Calif. (KGPE) — Close to 100 people showed up for a candlelight vigil outside the Waukena Market Thursday night in honor of Manuel Martin, the market owner who was shot and killed during an attempted robbery Monday night.

“It’s crazy. It was out of the blue,” said Waukena resident Erica Figueira, “and especially someone that we all love. He owned the only store here, so we all seen him once or twice, probably sometimes even more.”

Surveillance video captured the moments leading up to the shooting. Manuel can be seen ringing up some items for two people in hoodies, then moments later, one of the suspects pulls out a gun and points it at Manuel.

“After that happened, the store clerk pulled out a gun as well. That is when the shooting happened and the store clerk was killed,” said Tulare County Sheriff Spokesperson Ashley Ritchie.

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested in connection to the murder. He’s not being identified because of his age.

The arrest has brought a little relief to the small town of Waukena, but there’s still a lot of concern too since the other suspect hasn’t been found.

“They couldn’t have gotten very far,” said Figueira. “So I’m just hoping that they obviously took off and that they’re not still around here because you never know.”

As they wait for justice to be served, the community says they’ll continue to support the family and keep Manuel’s memory alive.

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