CUMBERLAND, Ind.—One year ago, a convenience store clerk was killed while working behind the cash register at the Cumberland Express Mart.
Witnesses say two armed suspects stormed the convenience store and demanded money on January 15, 2016. Those witnesses also told authorities that 24-year-old Monte Singh was shot within moments of their entry. One suspect reportedly jumped the counter and demanded a female employee open the register, when she said she couldn’t, the two men ran off.
Tyler Miller and Damion Cobb are suspected of being the armed robbers; they were both 17 at the time. Both have been arrested and charged with Singh’s murder along with robbery resulting in bodily injury and battery by means of a deadly weapon.
A third man, Kiree Hayes, is believed to have been the getaway driver. Hayes is charged with Singh’s murder and will appear in court this week for a pre-trial conference along with Tyler Miller. Damion Cobb has a pre-trial conference scheduled for March 10, 2017.
The January 2016 murder, and two armed gas station robberies in the following months, re-launched a prolonged discussion about legislating convenience store safety in the Hoosier State. State Representative Ed Delaney (D) Indianapolis has tried three times to push the legislation through the statehouse, but met push back each time.
Delaney first introduced House Bill 1440 in 2012. The proposal would have required tighter security, like extra employees and bullet proof glass, at certain convenience stores where crime proved to be problematic. The bill became known as “Marcy’s Law” in honor of Marcy Birnell, a store clerk shot in the head while working her shift at an Indianapolis Village Pantry in 2011.
FOX 59 has spoken with Rep. Delaney over the years; he says his efforts have been thwarted by the convenience store lobby and convenience stores not wanting to pay an estimated $25,000 to $30,000 for the bullet proof barriers.
Delaney has argued with not much legislative support that protective measures would save lives of the men and women who work in the gas station stores. People like Elvalide Ndiaye, 39, who was shot to death on his second day on the job at a Rickers BP station at 38th and High School Road back in September of 2013. He took the second job so he could save up to visit his family back in Senegal.
And Susan Seel, who was shot and killed during an armed robbery at McClures station in July 2016. Delve Smith Jr., 21, shot at a Speedway convenience store on West 10th St. near Girls School Road that same summer of 2016.
FOX59 checked the legislative docket of Delaney for the most recent session, there’s no convenience store employee safety bills authored by the representative.