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Teen arrested in Alvarado clerk's slaying

Authorities have arrested a 16-year-old man in connection with the slaying of an Alvarado travel center store clerk, police said Monday.

The teen, who was not identified because he is a juvenile, was taken into custody about 10:30 p.m. Friday at a Johnson County residence near Alvarado, Police Chief John Allen said.

Investigators believe the teen was the man whose image was captured on video surveillance early Wednesday entering the Shell Travel Center off Interstate 35W in Alvarado.

The man shot Karen Burke, 52, at close-range in the head. She died in the hospital a day later.

Allen said he believed the suspect had gone to school “off and on” but he declined to say where.

Investigators were looking into whether the teen was involved with a group of 17- to 20-year-olds who may have been committing property crime, like burglary and theft, in the area recently.

“We’re looking into whether some of these other suspects were involved directly or indirectly” in the Shell station shooting, Allen said. “Such as actually planning or destroying evidence afterward.”

Police had said Friday that members of a multi-agency task force and a Texas Ranger were investigating the shooting, which Allen characterized as “coldblooded.”

Burke was shot early Wednesday while mopping the floor at the travel center, police said. Police believe that the robber walked in and shot Burke at close range. He may not have even spoken to her, police said.

The robber tried to open the cash resister before leaving empty-handed, Allen said.

“It was so cold in the manner it took place. It wasn’t your conventional stop-and-rob,” Allen said Friday. “It was done by someone who didn’t want a witness."