• Three people are dead and more wounded after a string of robberies at 7-Eleven stores began on National 7/11 Day. 
  • The incidents are being investigated as a connected series of crimes, police say
  • The suspect has not yet been identified or apprehended. 

Three people have died and at least three others have been wounded in string of armed robberies at six different 7-Eleven stores across Southern California in what police say is being investigated as a connected series of crimes. 

The robberies began in Upland just before 1 a.m., CBSLA reported, on the morning of July 11. The incidents coincide with the company's 7/11 day, when customers can receive a free Slurpee. 

The first clerk was left uninjured but the suspect, described as a Black male wearing a mask and dark clothes, got away with $400 in cash. 

At a second convenience store location, in Riverside, police were dispatched at approximately 1:50 a.m. to a scene where a 7-Eleven clerk was found gravely injured.

"When they arrived, officers found an adult male victim suffering from a gunshot wound," Officer Ryan J. Railsback, public information officer for the Riverside police department said in a statement to Insider. "The victim was treated by paramedics with the Riverside Fire Department then taken to a local hospital in grave condition."

Railsback added that the police are "still looking into any connection to similar robberies in the region."

The third targeted location, in Brea, became the site of a deadly shooting. 

"At approximately 4:18 a.m. our officers responded to the 7-Eleven on Lambert Rd and N. Brea Blvd in response to an employee down with a possible gunshot wound. When officers arrived, they found a male clerk, with a gunshot wound who was pronounced deceased by Brea Fire," the Brea police department tweeted about the crime. 

"Our preliminary investigation suggests that the clerk was killed during a robbery. We later learned that a similar incident took place at a 7-Eleven at La Habra. The Brea Police Department is actively working with the La Habra Police Department as we believe these two incidents may be related."

The Brea police department did not respond to Insider's request for comment.

A similar incident in La Habra left two injured and transported to the hospital after two people were shot outside a 7-Eleven location while sitting in their car. Both are expected to survive, FOXLA reported police said.

Another robbery took place at a 7-Eleven location in Ontario, though no injuries were reported.

The La Habra and Ontario police departments did not respond to Insider's request for comment. 

In Santa Ana, at approximately 3:23 a.m., a man was found dead in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven, suffering from a gunshot wound to his torso. 

The Santa Ana police department did not respond to Insider's request for comment.

In a statement provided to Insider, 7-Eleven responded to the shootings: "Our hearts are with the victims and their loved ones. We are gathering information on this terrible tragedy and working with local law enforcement."

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