TUPELO, MS – A horrific scene unfolded on surveillance video when a armed man who was robbing a Tupelo, Mississippi convenience store cold-bloodedly executed an employee before leaving the establishment by shooting him in the head as he sat helplessly on the floor, even though his victim was fully cooperating with him at all times.
Chris Copeland, 26, has been changed with capital murder after allegedly putting his pistol to the back of the head of Parmvir Singh, 33, and callously pulling the trigger after having the victim sit on the floor behind the counter of the Chevron Food Mart.
Security camera footage from the incident shows Copeland, who is wearing pajama bottoms, a hooded sweatshirt, and a mask, walking into the store and up to the counter, at which time he pulls a pistol from his waistband, points it at Singh, and demands money from the register.
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Singh remained compliant throughout the entire encounter – to the point of being described as “gracious” by police – even when the suspect demanded that the employee sit on the floor.
“The clerk is very gracious and even gave him a stack of money he didn’t ask for,” said Tupelo Police Detective Wes Kloac. “He opened the safe for him and gave him a bank bag.”
After Singh was seated on the floor, Copeland is seen jumping over the counter, at which time he walked behind his victim and shot him in the head, seemingly for no reason; mercifully, Singh’s upper body falls out of view behind a counter at this point, but blood spurting from his wound can be seen sickeningly on-camera.
“(The suspect) then walked up behind Mr. Singh and, at point blank range, executed him,” Kloac said.
Kloac noted that Copeland – who has a rapsheet consisting of multiple felonies for robberies and burglaries, which prohibited him from owning a gun – then picked up the spent shell casing, attempted to sabotage the store’s video recording equipment, and then fled the scene.
Police Chief John Quaka said that he’s hard-pressed to recall a more callous and heartless act of violence in all his years on the job.
“With 27 years in law enforcement, this may be one of the worst ones I’ve ever seen,” he said. “The victim was literally executed in the back of the head inside his store where he was trying to make a living. It is just absolutely outrageous. The prosecutor said it best…it’s monstrous.”
Copeland is currently being held without bond; if convicted of capital murder, he will either receive the death penalty or life in prison without parole.