Clerk killed in Arlington robbery attempt was never given a chance to comply, police say

The family of a North Texas store clerk killed by an armed robber said he was excited to welcome a newborn niece this week. The man who murdered him has not yet been found.

The family of 31-year-old Jordan Hightower is trying to cope with the devastating loss. He was a son, a husband, a brother and was looking forward to being an uncle for the eighth time.

"Loving, funny... he would just make you laugh, just very quick-witted," his stepmother Danna Hightower said.

Hightower’s father and stepmom are hoping someone comes forward to help bring his killer to justice.

He had been working the overnight shift at the EZ Mart south of Interstate 20 near Matlock and Bardin roads in Arlington Sunday morning.

Police said at about 3:30 a.m., a man walked in, waited until other customers left, walked over the register where Hightower was standing and then shot him multiple times.

The suspect reportedly tried and failed to open the register, then stuffed some merchandise into his backpack and left the store on foot.

"This was unwarranted completely. There’s no reason to shoot the clerk. The clerk never had an opportunity to comply with any demand at all," said Lt. Chris Cook with the Arlington Police Department.

"Broken and crushed. Just a pain that I’ve never experienced before," said Walter Hightower, the victim’s father.

"Devastated. Empty," his stepmother added.

Hightower’s parents are still trying to come to terms with what happened. Police told them there was a chance he could have survived the attack.

After the gunman left the store, police said two customers walked in, saw Hightower on the ground but didn’t call for help.

They later told officers they thought he had simply been in a fist-fight and didn’t want to get involved. Another customer who walked in 90 minutes later found Hightower dead and called 911.

His parents said he took the job at the EZ Mart after struggling to find work in the restaurant industry during the pandemic.

The store chain is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Jennifer Rodriguez at 817-459-5650, or Tarrant County Crime Stoppers at 817-469-TIPS.

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