Palm Beach County gas station workers react to shooting death of fellow clerk Shihad Mahmud

Clerks say their job is dangerous, unpredictable

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- - It is a job that can have deadly consequences.

On Friday, the community of Wellington learned just how dangerous being a gas station clerk can be when a young college student was shot dead during what investigators are calling an armed robbery.

Shihad Mahmud, 22, was killed while working at a Chevron gas station.

The incident is now sending waves of concern amongst those who work the counters of 24-hour gas stations in Palm Beach County.

"You never know what type of person could be walking into your store," said Deziray Rivera, a clerk at the BP gas station in West Palm Beach.

Rivera said when she heard what happened to Mahmud, she thought instantly that it could have been her in that position.

"It's nerve-racking because I'm 23 myself. So I know how it feels too. And I have kids to go home to," said Rivera.

Clerks like Rivera feel like they can be easy prey. They work alone and there is little traffic during the shift.

"I work overnights here. I work from 12:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. So does my husband. He works here as well. So we never know if that's the last day we're going to see each other," said Rivera.

Rivera said she always has to be on alert. She also relies on security measures like the automatic, locking doors and the bulletproof cage she works in while at the gas station.

"It is dangerous, you never know," said Rivera.

A job with risk that puts food on the table for Rivera and her young family even if it means dealing with the unknown.

"All different types of customers no matter how rude they are, how much they want to throw stuff at you. We have to put our life at risk everyday," said Rivera.

The gas station where Mahmud was killed did not have a bulletproof cage.


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