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Reward offered in shooting of Alvarado store clerk

Schepps Dairy has offered a $10,000 reward in connection with the shooting of a 52-year-old Alvarado store clerk.

Karen Burke, 52, remained in critical condition Thursday after the attempted robbery early Wednesday at the Shell Travel Center off Interstate 35W in Alvarado.

Schepps will pay $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the shooter. Anyone with information is asked to call police immediately.

Burke was quietly doing her job, mopping the floor at the travel center, when the door opened behind her, police said.

She may never have seen the robber stride in, put a gun to her head and pull the trigger, Alvarado Police Chief John Allen said. The shooter may not have ever said a word to her.

"It was coldblooded," Allen said. "She may not have even known he was there."

Investigators have reviewed surveillance video of the shooting, which occurred about 1:30 a.m. at the travel center on the northbound I-35W service road, police said. The FBI was trying to enhance the image.

Moments before the shooting, Burke had stepped outside the store, possibly to empty the mop bucket, Allen said. The robber entered the store almost immediately after she went back inside.

"We think he was probably out there in the dark waiting for his chance," Allen said.

After the robber shot Burke, he went for the cash register, Allen said. However, the register requires a security code to open it and the robber didn't get it open. He eventually walked out without any cash.

"He did it all for nothing," Allen said.

About five minutes later, a customer found Burke bleeding from the head, he said. The customer thought she had fallen, called 911 and reported an injured person.

Burke was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. On the way, paramedics examined the wound, realized it was a gunshot and alerted Alvarado police, Allen said.