• 59°

Teen killed in robbery

An 18-year-old Brookhaven man was killed in an attempted armedrobbery in Gallman Friday afternoon, leaving Copiah County lawenforcement conducting what officials are calling a “wide open”search.

Shiva Behal, whose family had recently purchased the Stuckey’sat the Gallman exit in Copiah County, was shot in the chest by anunknown assailant around 2 p.m. Friday afternoon.

Copiah County Coroner Ellis Stuart said Behal’s body has beentaken to the crime lab in Jackson for an autopsy. He saidpreliminary reports indicate that there was one gunshot wound thatmay have been made by a .380 caliber bullet.

“We found a spent .380 hull and a live round on the floor inthere,” he said. “There was a witness in the store when it happenedand he heard a gunshot. We found the spent shell and we feel that’sgoing to be what it was.”

Sheriff Harold Jones said there are no new leads on the shooter,who was best described by witnesses as a black male, around age 30,wearing a light-colored shirt and a white cap, possibly withdreadlocks.

“But that could be anybody,” Jones said. “Witnesses saw himrunning out of the store, and the descriptions don’t exactly matchup, so we’re working on it.”

Jones said the suspect took some oil to the register as if hewere going to buy it, and then demanded money from Behal, Jonessaid.

“This investigation is ongoing, and we’re investigating it wideopen,” he said.

Stuart said Behal’s family lives at 659 Virginia Ave. inBrookhaven, but that he had been living in a little apartment inthe back of the Stuckey’s. Jones said while there were securitycameras in the store, they didn’t have tape running.

The unknown assailant was last seen running from the store.

“He apparently ran out of the store and there’s a little fencethere, so he jumped it and ran out toward the interstate,” Jonessaid.

Behal’s father, Rajesh “Mike” Behal, had bought the store withinthe last month and was in the process of renovating it, officialssaid.

Jones said the Behal family is offering a $10,000 reward forinformation leading to the arrest of their only son’s killer. Inaddition, he said, anyone who might have seen anything unusual thatday is encouraged to call the Copiah County Sheriff’s Department at(601) 894-3011 or Crimestoppers at (601) 355-TIPS or888-8CRIMES.

Riverwood Family Funeral Service will handle Behal’sarrangements, which are incomplete.