A clerk for the Grand Rapids, Mich., party store Bottlenecks—who has since been identified as Tony a 34-year-old Sikh man— was the victim, FOX17 reports. As the news affiliate explains in its coverage of the robbery, Sikh is a religion in India different from Islam and Hinduism, but that didn't stop the robber from calling the man an ISIS member.
A Bottlenecks manager who wants to remain anonymous told FOX17 the gunman told Tony, "I used to kill people like you in Iraq with no problem." In the surveillance video, which the manager showed to FOX17, you see the robber pointing his gun at Tony as he empties the cash register and hands him the money. According to the clerk when the gunman made Tony go to a back area, out of camera sight, where he shot him. "Tony told me that (the gunman) asked him to get on his knees," said the manager. "And (the gunman) was saying all this vulgar stuff about him, like Tony being associated with terrorism or with ISIS."
When the gunman put his rifle in Tony's mouth Tony reportedly moved the gun to his cheek right before the gunman shot, the manager said. The gunman then fired two shots after that before fleeing.
"I don't know why (the gunman) associated him with terrorism, maybe it's because of our skin, because of what we look like, and it could happen to anyone that looks like us or has our skin tone," the manager said. "That's just the sad part because, at the end of the day, we're just normal people trying to live normal lives, we're not associated with anything like that, and it's unfair that we have to live in that fear."
Police are still investigating the incident.