By Renée Santos

LODI (CBS13) — A Lodi store clerk was shot and left to die inside his store over the weekend. 

The clerk, Gurminder Parmar, was known to customers as Gary. Prayers and kind messages are leaving a mark outside the Lodi liquor store whose owner left a mark in the community. Messages read “goodbye my friend” and “God bless your wife and family.”

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Mudar Haddad was at the store just one hour before Parmar was shot in the chest, left to die.

“He’s a respectful man, he’s honest, he’s a good friend,” said Haddad. “I came out here, I talked to the police, I’m calling ‘Gary.’ I said, ‘Gary please pick up the phone I want to know if you are okay, let me know,’ you know.”

CBS13 has learned Parmar was arrested in 2012 after shooting a man accused of stealing beer. His wife told CBS13 at the time he began carrying a gun after being robbed at gunpoint several times before that.

“So after that, he decided to buy a gun for self-defense,” his wife said.

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According to San Joaquin County Court, the store owner was sentenced to 30 days in jail and had to pay a fine. But did his previous arrest prevent him from carrying again for his protection? Under probation conditions specific to that case, he could not own or possess any firearm or ammunition, but only for three years.

Gurminder Parmar’s mugshot from 2012. (credit: Lodi Police Department)

Brad Evans says what happened to Gary is heartbreaking, especially the way he died.

“He’s not just a liquor store owner, he is a friend,” Evans said. “This is sickening, this isn’t right.”

Lodi police haven’t released new information about a suspect or possible motive.

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